Press Release
July 18, 2023

Statement of Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on the signing into law of the Maharlika Investment Fund Act

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.

This is madness for the following reasons, among others:

(1) 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.

(2) The Philippines has no surplus either from the budget or from trade. We have not hit any jackpot windfall profit like a cash flow from a new discovery of oil or gas reserves. In short, we have no underlying asset to continuously back up and fund this MIF to ensure its long term existence.

(3) 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".

Because of the unclear origin of the seed idea of this particular MIF, the speed at which the law was enacted which involved unconstitutional shortcuts, and the inherent contradictions and clear confusion in the law itself, the MIF will definitely be questioned before the Supreme Court, basically under the following grounds:

1. Defective Presidential Certification

a. No public emergency or calamity being addressed

b. Hence, no three readings on three separate days

2. No showing of Economic Viability

3. Undue Delegation of Legislative Power

a. Surrender of the Budget Process by Congress

b. Leaving to the IRR the determination of many important matters

4. Violation of Substantive Due Process

a. Insists on being a Sovereign Wealth Fund when it is not

b. Inherent contradictions and confusion

5. Violation of BSP Independence

6. The Bill signed by the President was not the version passed by Congress (this we will call the "altered bill doctrine")

The MIF is a bad idea, a bad decision, a bad act.

Without the required surplus, in the face of our current P14.1 trillion outstanding debt, the signing into law of the MIF Act could significantly exacerbate our national debt.

Hindi pa ba tayo napapagod sa kakaisip ng mga paraan kung papaano pa natin papalakihin ang utang natin?

A recent survey revealed that 80% of Filipinos admit to having little to no knowledge about the proposed measure. Moreover, when asked about the potential benefits from the newly established Maharlika fund, over half (51%) anticipate little to no advantage from it.

In light of these findings, a more considerate and beneficial course of action for the Filipino people would have been for the President to veto this measure. This would have paved the way for a more meaningful and comprehensive discussion about the MIF among our people and not just among legislators.

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."

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