Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Tuesday said the recent petition filed with the Supreme Court against the alleged unconstitutionality of the Maharlika Investment Fund has to be respected.
“We respect the democratic process and the right of every individual to seek legal redress. The House of Representatives, under my leadership, has always prioritized the observance of legislative procedures and adherence to the Constitution,” Romualdez said in a statement.
Romualdez explained the Maharlika Investment Fund Act was passed with the intention to drive economic growth, address poverty, and create job opportunities for Filipinos. The certification of the bill as urgent was determined with this vision in mind.
“Regarding the amendments, it is not uncommon for bills to undergo changes as they pass through the legislative mill, but we ensure these are done within the bounds of our Constitution and established procedures.
“We trust the wisdom of the Supreme Court to evaluate the merits of the petition and to arrive at a just and fair decision,” Romualdez stressed.
He pointed out the House leadership “[is] prepared to cooperate fully with the Court and to provide any necessary clarifications.”
“In these times, it is more crucial than ever that we focus on what will uplift and benefit the Filipino people. Let us keep the best interests of our nation at heart,” Romualdez said.
Senator Risa Hontiveros supports the filing before the Supreme Court made by fellow opposition Senator Aquilino Pimentel III and Bayan Muna officials.
She said the Marcos administration should go slow in passing this law especially since it involves the transfer of huge funds from government banks and government financial institutions that have different mandates from this new creation of the Maharlika.
As contributions to the Maharlika fund, the Land Bank remitted P50 billion while the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) remitted P25 billion.
While Land Bank is yet to resove its remaining issues organizationally and financially from its prior merger with Cocobank, it again transferred big amount of money to Maharlika, Hontiveros noted.
“The same goes for the Development Bank of the Philippines,” said the opposition senator.
While the mandated of Land Bank concerns the farmers and other rural sector for rural development, the DBP’s mandate is national development programs like infrastructure.
“And these two long standing banks have safeguards for funds for their depositors and stakeholders,” she said.