Marcos laughs off fears of corruption in Maharlika Investment Fund: ‘Far from the truth’
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday laughed off fears that the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) might be squandered on extravagant splurges such as luxury cars and yachts.
After signing the Maharlika Investment Fund bill, Marcos tackled questions such as why the money for the MIF cannot go directly to developing agriculture or infrastructure.
“I would hear some people commenting, ‘hindi ba pag may pera tayong ganyan, may pondo tayong ganyan, dapat ilagay yan sa agrikultura, ilagay yan sa infrastructure, dapat ilagay yan sa energy development?’ Nanunood ako ng television sabi ko, syempre kinakausap ko yung TV, ‘saan nyo kaya iniisip na ilalagay yan? Bibili kami ng magagarang kotse? Bibili kami ng malaking yate? Iyan ba yung iniisip niyo?” Marcos said while laughing.
(I would hear some people commenting, ‘If we have money like that, we have funds like that, it should go to agriculture, it should be in infrastructure, it should be in energy development?’ While watching the television, I find myself saying, ‘Where do you think it would go?’ Would we buy lavish cars? Would we buy large yachts? Is that what you think?)
Marcos explained that he was laughing because those notions were untrue.
“It makes me laugh because that is so far from the truth. That is precisely where we are going to put this money. That is precisely where we are going to apply this money. All those critical sectors that have been left behind, all those crucial sectors that have to adjust to the new economy, the new global economy, those are the pressure points that we will apply the fund on,” Marcos assured.
The Maharlika Investment Fund had been a point of contention, with many fearing that it could create space for corruption during the initial versions of the bill. Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III had called for the President even to veto the measure so that Congress could study it.
Marcos Jr. is the son of late former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr, whose term as the country’s chief executive was marked by corruption. The late president’s family, particularly his wife, Imelda Marcos, was known for their lavish lifestyle.