OLYMPIAN MICHAEL CHRISTIAN MARTINEZ PLACED ON PHILIPPINE TAX AGENCY ‘WATCH LIST’

Photo Credit: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
Photo Credit: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Manila, Philippines – Benjamin Franklin once said, “there are only two things certain in life: death and taxes.”  The Philippines’ tax collector-in-chief is making sure the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) lives up to its name.

BIR Commissioner Kim Henares has confirmed reports that she has ordered Michael Christian Martinez, the lone Filipino athlete who competed in the Sochi Winter Olympics, to be placed on the agency’s “watch list.”  Although the 17 year-old figure skater did not win any medal in the skating competitions, Henares said that Martinez’s increasing popularity in the Philippines and abroad will certainly result in multi-million peso offers from commercial companies for product endorsements and advertisements. “We just want to make sure that the BIR will not miss out on taxes due from Martinez’s potential earnings, so we will be watching very closely,” Henares said.image13.jpg

This is not the first time that the BIR has gone after high-profile cases.   It has gone after the earnings of world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao as well as the prize money and recording contract income of Rose Fostanes, the Filipino caregiver in Tel Aviv who recently won the top prize in the reality TV show, X Factor Israel.

“We would have preferred Michael to win the Olympic gold medal because gold commands a very high price in the stock market right now, but there’s always that  possibility in 2018,” Henares told reporters.

PHILIPPINE SENATE BUILDING BASEMENT TO BE CONVERTED TO AN OLYMPIC-SIZED SKATING RINK

Filipino Olympian trained in the Mall of Asia in the Philippines
Filipino Olympian trained in the Mall of Asia in the Philippines

Manila, Philippines – With the historic debut of a Filipino figure skater at the Sochi Winter Olympics, a big change is coming to the Senate of the Philippines. Not to its do-nothing occupants, but to the basement of its building.

Inspired by today’s awesome performance by the Philippines’ lone representative to the Winter Olympics, the Senate of the Philippines today passed a bi-partisan resolution that would convert the basement of the  Senate building into an Olympic-sized skating rink.

Michael Christian Martinez skated his way to the finals in today’s men’s short program, to the delight of the Filipino senators. Martinez is the first Filipino and first in all of Southeast Asia to earn a spot in the Winter Olympics figure skating competition.  He had trained in the SM Mall of Asia and another indoor skating rink in Metro Manila.

The Philippine Senate Building
The Philippine Senate Building

Focusing their sight on the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea, the honorable senators were in agreement that the Philippines needed more training venues not just for Martinez but other upcoming and potential Filipino Olympic figure skaters.

Philippine President NoyNoy Aquino is reportedly also considering converting Malacañang Palace, the official presidential residence, into the Aquino Skating Palace, patterned after the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi, Russia.

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