MANILA, Philippines — After saying that they had to mortgage their home for their son to go to Sochi when in fact they received government support via the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the International Olympic Committee, the family of Michael Christian Martinez, the country’s lone representative to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics has piqued the interest of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
“Magsisinungaling naman ako kung sasabihin kong hindi ako curious kung nagbabayad ba itong pamilyang ito ng tamang buwis, kasi sabi nila may sarili silang bahay (I would be lying if I told you that I’m not one bit curious if this family is paying correct taxes, because they did admit that they own a house),” said BIR Commissioner Kim Henares.
“It is natural for us to look into it because like we said anytime there is a controversy, we look at the tax compliance because it says a lot about the character of the person whether they comply with laws including tax laws,” she added.
Besides the alleged mortgage, the family of Martinez also relied on sponsors like Smart and Manny Pangilinan Foundation.
“We will verify if their statement has any basis,” said Henares. “After that, we shall conduct a comprehensive audit if the donations and monetary support given by the sponsors were properly spent.”
The bureau clarified that like the rest of the country, they too are rooting for the skater, and hopes that he’ll win one or two gold medals.
“Pero paalala ko lang po na yung gintong medalya ay hindi po tax-free (But just a reminder, those gold medals are not tax-free).”
* Thanks to @parengjoserizal on Twitter, and Donmar Pineda on Facebook for the article idea.
[P.S. The original article was based on news that the Martinez family had to mortgage their home to be able to go to Sochi, Russia. Recent developments and news report by GMA News contradicted this earlier story and thus this satire article has been edited to reflect that.]