SC tells Palace, Congress to comment on petition vs. Maharlika Fund

The Supreme Court has ordered Malacanang and Congress to comment on the petition assailing the constitutionality of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) Act of 2023.

According to a report on Super Radyo dzBB, the SC asked for comment from Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

They were given 10 days to file the comment on the petition against the sovereign wealth fund.

The respondents are also expected to comment on the petitioners’ request for the SC to issue a temporary restraining order against the MIF.

On September 18, 2023, Bayan Muna chairman Neri Colmenares, former Bayan Muna Representatives Isagani Zarate and Ferdinand Gaite, and Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III challenged the constitutionality of the MIF on three grounds.

The petitioners said the MIF failed to satisfy the test of economic viability, which they said was among the limitations imposed by the Constitution to “ensure that government haphazardly relinquish its governmental functions without basis.”

Moreover, the Treasurer of the Philippines submitted a three-page business proposal for the MIF to comply with the test of economic viability. The proposal said that MIF may generate a return on equity of around 6.51% to 10.78%.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said the he welcomed “the Supreme Court’s order for the Executive and the Legislative to file their Comment to the petition.”

“We respect any move to bring the MIF Act to the Supreme Court, and we assure everyone that the Senate will actively take part in the court proceedings, including filing the necessary responsive pleading,” Zubiri said.

“I have already instructed the Senate Secretary to coordinate with the Office of the Solicitor General with regard to the preparation and filing of the comment, and we are ready to answer any questions and issues concerning the MIF Act of 2023,” he added.

“Ultimately, this is for the Supreme Court to decide, and we will respect the outcome, whatever it may be,” Zubiri said. –Sherylin Untalan/NB, GMA Integrated News

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