Pimentel, Hontiveros hit rush to pass Maharlika bill over correctness | Inquirer News
Executive’s wish granted? 

Pimentel, Hontiveros hit rush to pass Maharlika bill over correctness

By: - Reporter / @BPinlacINQ
/ 03:39 PM June 22, 2023

Minority senators Koko Pimentel and Risa Hontiveros on Thursday fumed over the rush to pass the contentious Maharlika Investment Fund bill at the expense of its correctness. 

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III (right) and Sen. Risa Hontiveros. Senate PRIB file photo / Joseph Vidal

MANILA, Philippines — Minority senators Koko Pimentel and Risa Hontiveros on Thursday fumed over the rush to pass the divisive Maharlika Investment Fund bill without respect for correctness.

In a statement, Pimentel – a lawyer and former Senate President – slammed the “tampering” of the Maharlika bill to remedy glaring errors in the version that secured the final approval of Congress.


READ: Maharlika bill’s conflicting provisions merged ‘for economy of words’ — Bantug 


The Maharlika bill, certified urgent by President Marcos Jr., was passed in Congress before sine die adjournment for the President’s upcoming State of the Nation Address (Sona) in July.

Pimentel wondered if the haste to pass the Maharlika bill is “being done solely to appease one individual’s desire, just so that person will have something to announce during the State of the Nation Address.”

Hontiveros said she would defer to constitutional lawyers to examine and challenge the constitutionality of correcting the Maharlika bill.

“But honestly, above and beyond the specific technical issue, what this speaks volumes about is the inordinate rush to pass a bill just to acquiesce to the wishes of the Executive. They were in such a hurry, and that’s why there are so many errors,” she said in a separate statement.

Hontiveros also took a snipe at the Senate majority, noting that they had the chance to correct the Maharlika bill during the bicameral conference committee.

She said the Senate and House leadership did not take action despite having the chance to do so.


“And if history will take the legislature of the 19th Congress to task for it, then so be it,” she said.

‘Tyranny of numbers’

Pimentel slammed the seeming lack of Senate independence. He questioned the chamber’s fidelity to its sworn duty of defending the Constitution and the rule of law.

“The Constitution, the cornerstone of our nation, is no longer being read and followed. Our rules have been rendered meaningless and worthless,” he said.

Pimentel criticized members’ apparent disdain for Maharlika bill debates.

“The tyranny of numbers does what it wants to do, railroading and bulldozing all legal concepts and regulations out of the way. Warnings and arguments now amount to nothing. Nothing is sacred anymore,” he decried.

After securing the signature of Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, the legislative proposal is nearing Malcañang for Marcos’ approval.

It will soon be sent to the House of Representatives for Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez’s signature before Marcos can finally decide on the fate of the Maharlika bill, which he says is his idea.


Maharlika bill moves forward, but still not sent for President’s approval 

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Congress OKs Maharlika bill without pensions as funding 

TAGS: bill, Congress, Hontiveros, Maharlika, Pimentel, Senate

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