‘Bad idea, bad decision’: Pimentel says Maharlika law must be challenged before SC
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel raised the need to question the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) measure before the Supreme Court after it was signed into law on Tuesday.
“Today is a sad day in the history of our country, as the state through the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) will be engaging, unjustifiably, in an economic activity (risky investing) which is best left to the private sector,” Pimentel said in a statement.
“This is madness,” the senator stressed.
For one, he said, the Maharlika Fund concept “was developed on the fly.”
“If it were an airplane, then it was built while flying it. Thus, the law has inherent contradictions because it was rushed. Nobody knows what creature we have created. It could turn out to be a monster, as it has been designed to be a super-GOCC (government-owned and -controlled corporation),” he said.
Pimentel reiterated that, unlike other countries, the government has no budget and trade surplus to fund the MIF and ensure its long-term existence.
“The funds to be initially used are already existing funds under the care of conservatively run government banks. We are disturbing the status quo because the government wants to take more risks with the money and gamble it, under their mantra of ‘more risks, more returns,’” said the senator.
Because of the many questions raised against the measure, including the speed at which it was crafted, Pimentel is almost sure the MIF law would be questioned at the SC.
He cited the following grounds for raising the issue before the high court:
- Defective Presidential Certification
- No public emergency or calamity being addressed
- Hence, no three readings on three separate days
- No showing of Economic Viability
- Undue Delegation of Legislative Power
- Surrender of the Budget Process by Congress
- Leaving to the IRR (implementing rules and regulations) the determination of many important matters
- Violation of Substantive Due Process
- Insists on being a Sovereign Wealth Fund when it is not
- Inherent contradictions and confusion
- Violation of BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) Independence
- The bill signed by the President was not the version passed by Congress (this we will call the “altered bill doctrine”)
Pimentel stressed the MIF “is a bad idea, a bad decision, a bad act.”
“Hence, to put a stop to this madness, the Maharlika Investment Fund Act must be challenged before the Supreme Court. Let us remind the powers that be that “MIF” can also mean “Madness Isn’t Forever,” he said.