SC dismisses Makabayan petition to void Marcos' urgent certification of Maharlika Fund

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 12) — The Supreme Court (SC) dismissed the Makabayan bloc's petition to nullify President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s urgent certification of the Maharlika Fund bill last Dec. 15, which allowed the measure to see third reading approval in just one day.

An urgent certification for a pending measure is typically made to respond to a public calamity or emergency.

In this case, it allowed lawmakers to approve House Bill (HB) 6608 on second and third reading in just one plenary session, even though bills are normally approved on three different readings done on three separate days.

Because of this, the Makabayan bloc last February petitioned the SC to void Marcos' urgent certification, on the basis that this was made unconstitutionally and that it was a grave abuse of discretion as it was certified as urgent although it was not in response to any valid emergency.

However, in its resolution dated Feb. 28, the high court argued: "There is no actual case or controversy here, nor is the dispute ripe for adjudication. [Bayan Muna Chairman Neri] 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."

"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 6609 in the House," it added.

Meanwhile, a version of the measure, Senate Bill 2020, is still pending second reading approval in the upper chamber's plenary.

On Wednesday, the same Makabayan lawmakers appealed to the SC to reconsider its resolution and doubled down on their argument that the urgent certification was made without any valid emergency.

"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," the lawmakers said.

The SC has not yet acted on the Makabayan's motion to reconsider.

READ: The proposed Maharlika Investment Fund: What you need to know