SC junks Makabayan bloc’s petition vs Maharlika Fund bill

The Supreme Court has junked a petition filed against the Maharlika Fund bill for being “premature,” saying that the issue is not yet “ripe for adjudication.”

The Supreme Court (SC) dismissed the Makabayan bloc’s petition, which sought to nullify President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s certification of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) Bill as urgent.

The petitioners also wanted to declare unconstitutional and void the House of Representative’s supposed swift passage of the controversial MIF bill.

But the SC, in junking the “premature” petition filed in February, ruled the petitioners failed to present an actual case or controversy that would have warranted the high court to exercise its power of judicial review.

“There is no actual case or controversy here, nor is the dispute ripe for adjudication. Colmenares et al.’s mere allegation of the unconstitutionality of the President’s certification of HB 6608 and the passage of the bill by the House are not sufficient to warrant review by the Court,” the Supreme Court en banc said in a six-page resolution.

“To date, no law has been passed and HB 6608 remains pending with the House for further revisions, eliminating petitioner legislators’ concerns regarding the expedited passage of HB 6608 in the House,” it added.

The decision was dated February 28, 2023 but was only received by the Makabayan bloc on April 25.

The petitioners, who include Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares, former Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate, and some leftist lawmakers, filed a motion for reconsideration on May 10.

In their appeal, the petitioners argued that there is already an actual case or controversy because a constitutional provision has been allegedly violated.

“Absence of a ‘public calamity or emergency’ is evidenced by the fact that the certification was issued only to the House of Representatives, and did not include the Senate, the reason why no law has been “immediately enacted” months after the House passed the bill on Third and Final Reading,” it said.

The MIF bill was approved in its third and final reading at the lower house in December but its counterpart measure is still pending second reading approval in the Senate’s plenary. 

[RELATED: EXPLAINER: Ano ang Maharlika Investment Fund?]

Thumbnail photo made via Canva

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