Marcos certification as urgent of Maharlika fund bill ‘unconstitutional’, says Pimentel
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Saturday called “unconstitutional” President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s move to certify as urgent the Senate bill seeking to establish the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund.
“I will tell my colleagues not to follow that certification because it is unconstitutional. The certification by the president is unconstitutional because our constitution states that you can only certify a necessary proposal if there is a public emergency or calamity right in front of us,” Pimentel said in a DWIZ interview.
Pimentel said that the bill’s benefits would take years to materialize, making it incapable of addressing immediate concerns.
“What public emergency or calamity will be addressed by the Maharlika Investment Fund?” he said.
“Well, those are supposed to be long-term investments, right? The benefits of it, if any, will only be felt — realistically speaking — around five to ten years from now. So, no, it doesn’t address any public emergency or calamity that we are currently facing,” said Pimentel.
Marcos designated Senate Bill No. 2020, also known as the MIF bill, as a high-priority legislation in a letter addressed to Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri dated May 22.
Certifying the bill as urgent will allow the Senate to forgo the three-day rule as mandated by the 1987 Constitution between the proposed measure’s second and third reading.
By certifying the MIF proposal as urgent in the lower chamber, Marcos enabled the House to swiftly approve the bill within a month of its filing by Speaker Martin Romualdez and other legislators.
The Marcos administration wants to put up the country’s first sovereign wealth fund to generate earnings that can finance more infrastructure projects and other social programs and eventually promote economic development for future generations.