Tulfo pushes for inclusion of plunder penalty in proposed Maharlika Investment Fund
MANILA, Philippines —Senator Raffy Tulfo is pushing for a special anti-corruption clause in the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) that would impose hefty penalties on board members who engage in plunder.
During the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions, and currencies hearing on the Maharlika fund bills on Wednesday, Tulfo emphasized that MIF board members should not be granted immunity from criminal prosecution.
“Another thing na para hindi po papasukan ng korapsyon ito pong Maharlika, my suggestion is we should not exempt the members of the board from criminal prosecution, especially kung meron pong nangyaring mga bad investments due to selfish practices. Pwede sila dapat kasuhan ng plunder,” he said.
(Another thing, to avoid corruption in the Maharlika, I suggest we should not exempt the board members from criminal prosecution, especially if there are instances of bad investments due to selfish practices. We should be able to charge them with plunder.)
The Federation for Economic Freedom (FEF) agreed with Tulfo.
“We have no objection to that. It’s one step toward ensuring that the board’s interests are aligned with that of the corporation,” FEF president Calixto Chikiamco said.
Aside from Tulfo, Senator Risa Hontiveros earlier sniped at the “ridiculously low” penalty for violators of MIF policies.
Under Senate Bill No. 1670, penalties range from P10,000 to P5 million, while jail time ranges from six to 20 years.
House Bill No. 6608, on the other hand, penalizes violators with fines amounting to P50,000 to P2 million and imprisonment of one year to five years.
Tulfo, who also filed a bill seeking a sovereign wealth fund, said he is discussing with experts to fine-tune his measure.
“Pinag-aaralan ko pa rin po ano ba talaga magiging stand ko sa Maharlika Fund kung ito ba’y makakabuti sa taumbayan,” the neophyte senator said.
(I am still studying my stand on Maharlika Fund, and whether it will benefit the public.)
“Kapag nakita ko na hindi, then I will not vote for it. For now, I’m in consultation with some economic experts,” he continued.
(If I see that it will not, I will not vote for it. For now, I’m in consultation with some economic experts.)
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier certified as urgent the House version of the MIF bill.