Who Is Romeo Lumagui Jr., Marcos' New BIR Chief?

He is the husband of one of the first lady's closest aides.

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. recently appointed Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Deputy Commissioner Romeo "Jun" Lumagui Jr. as the agency's new chief on Tuesday, November 15. Lamagui replaces Lilla Guillermo after just a few months.

In the past, Lumagui has worked in law firms like SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaita and had established his own, Morales Justiniano Peña & Lumagui Law Offices before joining the BIR. The Ateneo Law product first served as technical assistant to the commissioner then tax fraud head for Revenue Region No. 6, Manila, Revenue Region No. 4, Pampanga, and Revenue Region No. 7B, East National Capital Region. He would go on to develop BIR's modernization program, as well.

The new BIR chief is also the husband of lawyer Carmela Esquivas-Lumagui, one of First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos' aides. His family backed the 2022 Marcos campaign, and was often seen with Marcos' children. The Marcoses were also the Lumagui couple's wedding sponsors.

Meanwhile, Esquivas-Lumagui's father is former BIR Commissioner Sixto S. Esquivias IV, who had served under the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration.


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Guillermo, who is a former BIR deputy commissioner herself and former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Assistant Governor, had once urged the President to cooperate with the agency on his family's unsettled P203 billion estate tax.

"I will have to talk to the President that BIR needs to collect it and maybe I will inform him, 'Mr. President, it's not you who's going to pay this but it's the estate, your family. I hope there will be no objections and (you will) be a role model to at least comply [to] the rules of taxation,'" Guillermo said in June.

There is no official word yet on Guillermo’s next move.

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