MANILA -- Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Wednesday warned the Senate Secretariat not to tinker with the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund Act of 2023, as such act would amount to a “crime.”
Pimentel issued the warning a day after Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva was quoted as saying that the Senate Secretariat is already reexamining the Maharlika bill for its needed corrections.
“Naku, 'wag nilang gawin 'yan. It is not okay, and may even amount to a crime if words are changed to 'perfect' a bill as the perfecting exercise should have been done on the floor only by the elected members of the Senate,” Pimentel said in a text statement.
The bill was adopted by both houses of Congress during its last day of session before its sine die adjournment.
Pimentel stressed the Maharlika fund bill’s passage on third and final reading has sealed the proposed measure’s status as already a complete or polished bill.
“They cannot change the entries like delete some words or add new words. They cannot change meanings or nullify some expressed idea. They are not allowed to replace their ideas for the words of the senators. No one else can perfectly express the sentiment and intent of the Senate other than the elected members of the Senate. Pag sabi nila na approved na ang final version, then that’s it, that is the final version,” Pimentel remarked.
Only senators can amend the Maharlika bill’s provisions, Pimentel said.