Filtered By: Topstories

SC asked to void urgent certification, House passage of Maharlika fund bill

Members of the Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives on Monday questioned before the Supreme Court President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s  certification of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) bill as urgent.

In a 22-page petition, the petitioners asked the high court to declare as unconstitutional and void the certification of the MIF as urgent and its approval by the House.

“We ask the Honorable Court to void the presidential certification of the Maharlika Bill, as well as its approval on Third Reading, without a printed copy of the bill’s final form distributed to the Members at least three days before it is voted upon,” the petition read.

Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares, former Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate, ACT party-list Representative France Castro, Gabriela party-list Representative Arlene Brosas, and Kabataan party-list Representative Raoul Manuel filed the petition.

Respondents named in the petition are Marcos, Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, and the House of Representatives.

GMA News Online has reached out to Malacañang for its comment, but it has yet to respond as of posting time.

“There is a history of abuse, going back several administrations of the presidential prerogative to certify a proposed legislation as urgent despite the absence of any ‘public emergency or calamity.’ This has got to stop,” the petition read.

According to petitioners, there is grave abuse of discretion when the MIF bill was certified as urgent in the House of Representatives as there was no similar certification in the Senate.

“This is a fatal admission that there is no public emergency or calamity in the nature that triggers the activation of the exception,” they said in their petition.

The bloc further stressed that the word “public emergency” or “calamity” was never mentioned in the certification.

In December 2022, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading the MIF bill with 279 yes votes,  six no votes, and zero abstentions.

Marcos had certified the measure as urgent, paving the way for its second and third reading approvals on the same day.

“The passage of the MIF on Third Reading, just barely three hours after it was heavily amended and approved on Second Reading, means that Members of the House voted without a copy of the final form of the bill they were voting on as required in the Constitution,” the petition read.

Meanwhile, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said the measure is still a “work in progress” in the Senate.

The petitioners said it also seeks the issuance of the Court’s guiding principles in the issuance of a certification of urgency “so that the exercise of this presidential power is practiced according to the intent and spirit of the 1987 Constitution.” —KBK, GMA Integrated News