Unite and vigorously oppose Marcos’ Maharlika Investment Fund

Marco Valbuena | Chief Information Officer | Communist Party of the Philippines

December 05, 2022

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the broad democratic sectors, organizations and individuals in strongly denouncing the plan of the Marcos regime to set up the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF), a ₱275 billion sovereign investment fund, which is nothing but a scheme of the ruling kleptocrats to steal public money.

Ferdinand Marcos Jr wants the fund to be set up the soonest. His cousin, Speaker Ferdinand Romualdez, and son, Sandro Marcos, are themselves leading the pack of Marcos bootlickers in rushing and railroading the bill in congress.

The MIF is a brazen corruption scheme by the ruling Marcos political dynasty. The plan calls for placing hundreds of billions of pesos, possibly up to a trillion pesos of public funds, under the control of a few Marcos managers.

The MIF can serve to make liquid and siphon the large amount of Marcos stolen wealth stashed away in foreign banks or in local assets away from public scrutiny. The Marcoses stole an estimated $15 billion from public funds during their 14-year dictatorship, only a small part of which was recovered by the Philippine government.

The fund scheme will surely put cronyism on steroids. Stealing of public funds in the name of investments will be a breeze. It reminds us of the Coco Levy Fund and other “funds” of the Marcos I regime which were funneled to the private interests of Marcos cronies. The Maharlika Fund, however, promises to be at least a thousand times worse than all the schemes of the Marcos dictatorship. This is bureaucrat capitalism at its vilest.

The MIF aims to place public money in real estate, foreign and local financial markets, which are risk-filled especially amid rapidly worsening global economic crisis and recessions.

The MIF seeks exemptions from existing laws pertaining to public interest including those presently governing government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs), procurement and others which will allow the managers to invest the money wherever they please. Furthermore, the proposal will not require the fund managers to publicly disclose where the money is being invested.

These managers will be exempt from existing laws on salary standardization and civil service, and can determine for themselves the amount of compensation they will get in the form of salaries, honoraria, allowances, per diem and bonuses.

The plan to set up the Maharlika Investment Fund is utterly abhorrent as it aims to use and put to risk the hard-earned savings of pensioners (the Social Security System and the Government Service Insurance System), as well as funds from the Land Bank, Development Bank of the Philippines and other public financial institutions, purportedly to generate revenue for the government from financial investments.

Marcos has the temerity to plan to use the funds of the SSS and GSIS even as the monthly pensions of ordinary people are not enough to cover rising cost of living. Public school teachers and ordinary government employees have every right to raise a howl of protest to demand a stop to this scheme and to make the Marcoses account for the money they stole from the people.

The Marcos Fund is even more repugnant considering (a) that the Marcoses have yet to pay their backlog of around ₱250 billion in taxes; (b) that as much as ₱1.6 trillion or close to 30% of the 2023 national budget will go down the debt servicing drain; (c) that as much as ₱250 billion in government revenue were lost due to tax exemptions and reductions to foreign capitalist investors under the CREATE law; (d) that Marcos refuses to heed the clamor to exempt basic commodities from value-added taxes to alleviate people’s sufferings; (e) that Marcos continues to keep workers wages low amid rising prices; and (f) that the government’s debt has ballooned to ₱13.52 trillion (September) and is expected to further rise to more than ₱14 trillion before the end of the year; and so on.

In the hands of kleptocrats like the Marcoses, a scheme like the Maharlika Investment Fund will only allow the further growth of the cancer of corruption. This will only worsen the suffering of the people under the Marcos bureaucrat capitalist regime.

We urge all democratic organizations to unite, fight and frustrate the Maharlika Investment Fund, oppose the Marcos scheme to consolidate their ill-gotten wealth, and demand the return of all monies stolen from the Filipino people.