It is exactly three months away from Manny Pacquiao's bout with Chris Algieri in Macau, but the Filipino champion seems to have added a ninth title to his name as he scored a major victory against the Philippine tax agency.
The country's Supreme Court on Thursday a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) from requiring the boxer and congressman to post a P4.2 billion surety bond or P3.2 billion cash bond.
The Pacquiaos elevated their alleged tax deficiency case to the high court which also prohibited the BIR from pursuing the couple for alleged tax deficiency for 2008 and 2009.
In its decision, the court gave the Court of Tax Appeals's First Division and BIR 10 days to submit their comments on the case. The Pacquiaos have insisted that they have paid the right amount of taxes, but the BIR is questioning the veracity of the withholding tax made by the IRS on Pacquiao's prize money earned in the US.
The original tax liability of the couple for 2008 and 2009 was P2.2 billion, but because of penalties and surcharges, it has ballooned to P3.2 billion. The CTA lifted the BIR's garnishment of the Pacquiaos' assets in April, but ordered them to post the bond. The couple requested for a reduction of the bond, but the CTA refused, prompting them to seek relief from the Supreme Court, whose decision would appear like a KO against the Philippine tax agency.
With some relief from the court, Pacquiao could now focus on his 6-city promo tour with Algieri for their Nov 22 bout at the Cotai Arena of the Venetian.
However, the BIR insisted Pacquiao is not yet off the hook.
He has also not responded to Algieri's Ice Bucket Challenge, which was also made by fellow Filipino boxer Nonito Donaire.