Senate minority bloc to block passage of MIF bill

The Senate minority bloc will attempt to block the passage of the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) bill in the pro-administration dominated Senate.

“You cannot save what cannot be saved. kahit anong oras ito dapat hindi mapasa (at any given time, this measure should not be allowed to be passed),” Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III told Senate reporters who sought his reaction on a position of some members of the Senate majority bloc that the bill would be passed after the Holy Week.

The Senate banks committee chaired by Senator Mark A. Villar held its initial hearing on the MIF measure on Wednesday, February 1. Villar had filed a bill complementing the MIF bill that was approved by the House of Representatives.

Pimentel finds fault in the House bill, saying it is defective. He said the Philippines has no sources of new money to fund the MIF.

Economic managers of the Marcos administration earlier dubbed the measure as a’”sovereign fund” but they now claim it is an investment fund.

“Wala naman tayong windfall. Walang halagang excess money, wala nang dahilan...kaya sintunado na yung batas (There is no windfall.There is no excess money, there is no reason...the proposed law is out of tune),” the Senate fiscalizer said.

Pimentel said the MIF measure, should it be passed by Congress and enacted into law, could make a profit but theoretically it could lose bid time too.

He cited the case of oil-rich Norway which lost USD184-billion or P98-trillion although placement of its investments were very transparent, managed professionally and they report to their Parliament.

Another country is Hong Kong which lost HKD404.4-million in investments.

Asked if the two-man minority group would support the MIF after it has undergone fine-tuning, Pimentel replied:

“We cannot defend the indefensible, what cannot be saved, we cannot justify what is unjustifiable. There must be a condition precedent, ano yon? (And what is that?). We must have surplus.”