Palace confident Maharlika law will pass SC scrutiny | Inquirer News

Palace confident Maharlika law will pass SC scrutiny

By: - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 05:20 AM July 26, 2023

Palace confident Maharlika law will pass SC scrutiny.

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin | PHOTO: Voltaire F. Domingo/Senate PRIB

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on Tuesday expressed confidence that the law creating the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF), Republic Act No. 11954, will pass scrutiny should its constitutionality be questioned before the Supreme Court.

“We are not sure what questions will be raised to attack its constitutionality but we are very confident that with two branches of government putting their heads together on this legislation, the Supreme Court will see through and approve or pass upon its judgment in favor [of MIF],” Bersamin said in an interview with CNN Philippines.


Bersamin, a former chief justice, added that he also reviewed the enrolled bill when it was sent to Malacañang.


“Yes, that is part of our tough work,” he replied when asked if he perused the document.

“We were made aware of certain faults and certain deficiencies but in the end we were convinced that this version that was sent to us was the enrolled bill,” he added, saying the enrolled bill was signed both by the Senate President and House Speaker and certified by the secretariats of both chambers.

Bersamin said he does not see any potential problem with the supposedly conflicting prescriptive periods for offenses, recounting that he personally attended the hearings in the upper chamber when senators were deliberating on the MIF.

“I was privy to some deliberations during the Senate part of the legislative process and we were aware that they (senators opposing the MIF) were very, very thorough in the discussions,” he said.

According to Bersamin, he was also present during the plenary discussion on the MIF.

‘An honest mistake’

“In fact, our presence there was for several hours and when the voting came, I just had myself excused but many Cabinet officials were left there, so we have no doubt about the accuracy of what was going to be the enrolled bill,” he said.


The Senate version of the MIF bill was the one adopted by the House and approved in the bicameral conference committee.

Opposition senators had claimed that the original prescription period was 20 years but Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said there was an “honest mistake” in the final draft since the transcript of records showed that the motion to increase the period from 10 years to 20 years was defeated.

The copy of RA 11954 posted on the Official Gazette that was signed by the President provided for a 10-year prescription period for crimes and offenses punishable under the law.

The President earlier said that the Maharlika fund is intended as a vehicle for profitable and strategic investments in key sectors. The government expects the MIF to become an instrument to accelerate the implementation of 194 infrastructure projects approved by the National Economic and Development Authority. INQ


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TAGS: Maharlika Investment Fund, Supreme Court

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