Senators on Bongbong Marcos' MIF suspension: A very good development | Inquirer News

Senators on Bongbong Marcos’ MIF suspension: A very good development

/ 12:42 PM October 18, 2023

SP ZUBIRI IN A HUDDLE WITH COLLEAGUES: Senate President Juan Miguel "Migz" F. Zubiri engages fellow senators in discussion during a brief session break on Tuesday, May 30, 2023. The chamber has opened the period of amendment to Senate Bill No. 2020, or the Maharlika Investment Fund Bill, which seeks to establish a sovereign wealth fund designed to promote economic development by making strategic and profitable investments in key sectors. The chamber intends to pass the measure before Congress adjourns sine die on Friday, June 2, 2023.(Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB)

Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri engages fellow senators in discussion during a brief session break on Tuesday, May 30, 2023. (File photo from Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — Seven senators on Wednesday expressed relief at the order of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to stop the enforcement of the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) law.

Marcos, in a memorandum dated October 12, directed the suspension of the implementation of the law’s implementing rules and regulations.


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III called Marcos’ decision a “very good development,” adding that the law, in fact, has “a lot of defects.”


“The concept has not been fully studied from the very start. Hence, we should not wonder why, apparently, the law is not ready for implementation,” said Pimentel in a statement.

“Good that the Marcos administration appears to listen to reason,” he emphasized.

Pimentel, along with other lawmakers, filed a petition before the Supreme Court in September, seeking to declare MIF as unconstitutional.

In a separate statement, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva backed Marcos’ decision, saying that the chamber supposedly submits to the president’s wisdom.

“We are one with the President in ensuring that the objectives of the MIF are achieved and that all proper safeguards are in place, with due regard to the fiduciary responsibility imposed by the law on the managers of the fund,” Villanueva said.


But for Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, the suspension means the law passed by Congress needs a more thorough study.

He thanked Marcos for the move.

“Perhaps this is proof that the law passed by Congress is still lacking in terms of being studied. I am grateful to President Marcos for seeing that,” he said in Filipino in an ambush interview.

“Any loopholes and shortcomings that need to be cleaned and repaired can still be pursued and fixed.”

READ: Suspend Maharlika fund? Makabayan solon says it’s better to scrap it

READ: Maharlika chest at P107 billion; ‘gains seen in 4-5 years’

Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros echoed Pimentel’s remark, saying that in her own view, the law is beyond repair.

“[T]he law was rushed and the Philippines is simply not ready at this moment to support a wealth fund,” she said

For their part, Sen. Win Gatchalian and Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said Marcos’ decision was a prudent move.

“These things must be studied by the Senate through its oversight function and carefully study the functions of the law,” Gatchalian told reporters.

He noted it is “important not to rush the implementation” of this law, especially amid the potential “economic impact” of events like the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

On the other hand Zubiri said: “Let us trust the President’s wisdom in doing so, for I believe that he or his economic team had good and valid reasons to study the measure further.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Cynthia Villar clarified that the suspension did not mean MIF “has a problem.”

She said the administration only wants to make sure that the application of the law is organized.

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“I know that maybe they just want to organize it better,” she said.

“They want to organize MIF because they have yet to choose who will manage it. Maybe that’s what they want to study well.”

TAGS: Bongbong Marcos, MIF, Senate

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