Pimentel questions constitutionality of Maharlika fund
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Monday said he would question before the Supreme Court the constitutionality of the contentious law establishing the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF).
Pimentel, who topped the 1990 bar examinations, reiterated that Republic Act No. 11954, which President Marcos signed on July 18, was not the final version of the measure that the Senate approved on May 31, which the House of Representatives adopted in toto.
He also insisted that the passage of the P500-billion sovereign wealth fund was “not an achievement” of the year-old Marcos administration.
“I encourage the people to file petitions [against the MIF] … I will join them,” Pimentel told reporters.
He said two groups of petitioners and their lawyers were already coordinating with his office in challenging the MIF before the country’s highest tribunal.
In raising the issue of constitutionality, the opposition lawmaker said they would cite the manner in which the Senate secretariat resolved the conflicting contents of Sections 50 and 51 of Senate Bill No. 2020. Section 50 sets at 10 years the prescriptive period of crimes punishable under the measure, while Section 51 sets it at 20 years.
“That will be among our additional arguments [against the MIF],” Pimentel said.
“This [matter] is very simple. The House adopted the Senate version and there’s a time and date stamp regarding it. What was in the mind of the House members was a certain version at the time it was approved,” he continued.
“If [the version of the measure] changed, that was not the one they had in mind,” he said.
The senator earlier said that the measure’s final version was “tampered with,” as the correction was made without the concurrence of the entire upper chamber.