Mar’s enemies are clearly comfortable with twisting the truth to their advantage.
Sometimes they take credit away from him, like when they alleged that he didn’t author the law granting tax exemption to minimum wage earners. Sometimes they incorrectly attribute principal authorship to him—but for an unpopular law.
What’s the real score?
Mar addressed this issue as early as May 2010, when during an interview with Karen Davila he categorically stated:
“I’m not the author of VAT. I’m not the sponsor of VAT.”
Mar only voted in favor of the bill, and he has been very open about that.
“Well, my view is taxes is not what’s wrong. What’s wrong is when you steal the tax. Yung pambayad sa pulis, hindi naman sa hangin nanggagaling ‘yan.”
“Kung ninanakaw ito at hindi bumabalik sa tao, ‘yan ang masama. So ang feeling ko is nirereklamo ng tao na hindi bumabalik sa kanila buwis na binabayad nila.”
Why did he vote yes?
Here are some quotes from Mar’s explanation, taken from p. 29 of the 13th Congress’ Senate Journal No. 83, dated May 10, 2005.
“The cancer that our country is presently enduring is the cancer of a weakened financial condition… This cancer, if untreated, will result in overwhelming and widespread misery for the entire nation.”
“And so…this Representation endeavored…to draft as ideal a version of this cure as possible, so that Juan de la Cruz, while undergoing this chemotherapy, will not have to undergo inordinate pain or inordinate unnecessary cost.”
“I believe that this chemotherapy is better than if we just allow Juan de la Cruz to continue on with the cancer unabated which shall definitely lead to his demise.”
So it’s clear: Mar believed that the measure was for the good of the nation.
Where’s the proof he didn’t author the bill?
The committee report lists Senator Recto as the sponsor, and Senators Drilon, Flavier, Pangilinan, and Gordon as the other authors.