The Bureau of Internal Revenue wants to freeze the bank deposits of the late Rep. Iggy Arroyo (Neg. Occ., 5th District) while the agency determines the true value of his estate, ABS-CBN new.com reported yesterday.
Under the law, the heirs of a deceased individual must pay an estate tax based on the value of properties and bank deposits within six months of death.
Senator Panfilo Lacson had claimed that brothers Mike and Iggy Arroyo have billions of pesos in deposits in different banks.
“We have sent letters to five banks, we are waiting for their reply. In the meantime, we have instructed them not to entertain any transactions under his account," BIR Commissioner Kim Henares told ABS-CBN.
Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, spokesperson for the Arroyo family, dismissed the BIR's move, pointing out there are a few weeks left before the deadline.
Arroyo passed away in London on January 26 after a long battle with cirrhosis of the liver.
Grace Ibuna is the beneficiary of Iggy's estate, while the late lawmaker's daughter with his first wife is the estate administrator.
The BIR also needs the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth of the late congressman, the television network reported.
Henares said they requested the document more than a month ago from the Lower House but have yet to get a response, ABS-CBN said.
Arroyo's daughter, Dina Arroyo Tantoco, said in a press statement yesterday that her father has no secret bank accounts.
"We will be filing and taking the proper action when the deadline comes. Right now, we are still working to gather information on his assets. It is a hard time for us as we are still grieving the loss of someone so dear to us," she told ABS-CBN.
"It is not true that he has secret accounts. But he is already deceased. He cannot answer the new accusations against him. I ask that they stop attacking our family, especially my father,” she said.
“He is dead, they could have pity,” she told the television network.*