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World | National

Manny Pacquiao not a US Green Card holder, his adviser says

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

Contrary to reports, Saranggani Representative and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao is not a holder of a United States Green Card and never had one, sources from his camp said Monday.

"He is not a Green Card holder and he never had a Green Card," Michael Koncz, Pacquiao's adviser told InterAksyon.com in a phone interview.

Koncz said Pacquiao instead has a P1 Visa, which is given by the United States immigration for internationally recognized atheletes and entertainers. 

"I should know these things," he added.

Pacquiao's lawyer, Tranquil Salvador III, also denied reports that originated from the blog of journalist Raissa Robles.

"No. He is not a Green Card holder," Salvador said. "He cannot hold public office, specifically a congressional seat, if he is a Green Card holder."

Salvador said the lawmaker has left it to his camp to make the denial because of a gag order from the court.

The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) earlier issued ordered both Pacquiao and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to refrain from issuing statements to the public and the media about the case.

The BIR garnished P1.1 million of Pacquiao's deposits in two bank accounts after the boxing champ failed to settle with the bureau his P2.2-billion tax liability from 2008 and 2009.

In separate interviews, Manila Representative Amado Bagatsing and Buhay partylist Representative Lito Atienza said the Green Card issue are mere rumors.

"That's the first time I heard that. Manny is committed to his country, to his duty as Filipino public servant," Atienza said.

"I think that's pure rumor," Bagatsing added.  

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