Photo Release

February 1, 2023

Stiffer penalties under MIF urged: Sen. Risa Hontiveros observes the low penalties to be imposed on appointees to the Maharlika Investment Corporation who will engage in graft and corruption under the penalty provisions of the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF), considering the huge amount of money that would be handled by the agency. During Wednesday’s public hearing February 1, 2023 of the Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions, and Currencies, Hontiveros said the low penalty provisions under the proposed MIF seem to be ridiculous and inappropriate since billions of pesos would be involved once the bill is passed into law. “No forfeiture of ill-gotten wealth in favor of the government, no perpetual disqualification from public office for offenses committed by government officials who are members of the Maharlika Investment Corporation (MIC) board, no provisions in the event fund invested is used in money laundering,” Hontiveros pointed out. Hontiveros cited the graft and corrupt practices provisions under the MIF where an appointee who engages or violates the law will only be fined P100,000 to P1million. A director or officer who will tolerate this graft and corrupt practices will only be fined P500,000 to P1 million. Hontiveros compared the difference between the MIF penalty provisions and the Plunder Act of 1991, as amended in 1993. She said that under the plunder law, amassing ill-gotten wealth amounting to P50 million is punishable by reclusion perpetua (20 to 40 years imprisonment), forfeiture of ill-gotten wealth in favor of the government and perpetual disqualification from public office. (Voltaire F. Domingo/Senate PRIB)