It looks like actor-politician Arjo Atayde is one of the authors of the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund (previously named Maharlika Wealth Fund). After learning of his involvement, Pinoys weren’t afraid to let him feel their disappointment on social media. What’s happening?
Maharlika Investment Fund authors
According to Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile, the Maharlika Investment Fund has already gathered 200 authors from the House of Representatives. Last December 14, the youth organization Impact Leadership posted a partial list of these authors. It included about a hundred congresspeople, but what caught everyone’s eye the most was Quezon City 1st District Rep. Arjo Atayde.
WHO ARE THE AUTHORS OF THE ‘MAHARLIKA INVESTMENT FUND’?
— iMPACT Leadership (@iMPACTPH2019) December 13, 2022
Arjo Atayde trends online
Atayde’s involvement in the Maharlika Investment Fund earned him criticism on social media. Many didn’t shy away from expressing their feelings about the 32-year-old.
“Grabe Arjo bakit??? Waley natutunan sa Bagman TV series?” asked one tweet, referring to the socio-political thriller Atayde top bills.
In case you’re interested in the plot, Bagman follows Benjo Malaya (Atayde) who gets roped into being a “bagman” for politicians in exchange for sparing his job. Throughout the series, Atayde’s character goes from barber to a henchman to a politician. Atayde was even hailed Best Actor at the Asian Academy Creative Awards in 2020 for his role.
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Arjo Atayde memes abound
In the midst of Pinoys’ apparent disappointment, many couldn’t help but bring up AlDub.
Isa raw si Arjo sa authors ng Maharlika Wealth Fund??? Maybe the Aldub Fans were onto something🤔
— Tobito Finals/Mamamatay Na Era (@Tobitochondria) December 14, 2022
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past decade, you’d know that Atayde’s fiancee is actress Maine Mendoza who was 1/2 of the AlDub pairing with Alden Richards. When Atayde and Mendoza dating rumors first swirled online, loyal (and delusional) AlDub fans attacked Atayde on social media. And now, people are thinking that maybe the Aldub fans were right.
“Isa raw si Arjo sa authors ng Maharlika Wealth Fund??? Maybe the Aldub Fans were onto something,” said one tweet.
Arjo Atayde??? In the Maharlika Fund Scam??? Maybe we should support the AlDub fans this time and find the baby. 😭😭😭
— Amber 🦋🌸 (@geeyanii) December 14, 2022
“Arjo Atayde??? In the Maharlika Fund Scam??? Maybe we should support the AlDub fans this time and find the baby,” tweeted another. The baby here refers to the delusional Aldub fan belief that Mendoza and Richards have a secret kid.
Maybe the boomers are right with their decision to be a solid Aldub fans lol. 😅
Arjo Atayde screams 🚩🚩🚩 for Maine Mendoza imo. 💔
— Aubrey (@HeyyAubrey) December 14, 2022
“Maybe the boomers are right with their decision to be a solid Aldub fan lol Arjo Atayde screams [red flag] for Maine Mendoza [in my opinion],” said another
He got the bag, man pic.twitter.com/UjgRrHAQlQ
— meme$ out 4 diktajunior (@_mo4d_) December 14, 2022
He got the bag, man.
pov you found out that arjo atayde is one of the authors of the maharlika investment fund https://t.co/iLJeSnNm7n
— hannah (@hannahbtrce) December 15, 2022
Join the AlDub
But why are we focusing on Arjo Atayde?
While some continue to roast Atayde online, others want fellow Filipinos to pay attention to the rest of the Maharlika Investment Fund authors too. Atayde was a familiar face but there are hundreds of names on that list.
I get it we dislike the Maharlika Fund but Arjo is getting disproportionate hate because he’s the most recognizable face among 250 other authors. Sure, Arjo deserves criticism, but so do the 250 others who have been at this for far longer. https://t.co/nfMriPngPt
— Javi Vilchez #AngatBuhayLahat (@Javiercrombie) December 14, 2022
Who else is on the list? Other notable authors of the bill include President Marcos Jr.’s cousin, principal author Rep. Martin Romualdez and his wife Rep. Yadda Romualdez. It also involved the president’s son, Rep. Sandro Marcos, Rep. Stella Quimbo, Rep. Irwin Tieng, and Rep Camille Villar among others.
What is the Maharlika Investment Fund?
The Maharlika Wealth Fund or House Bill No. 6398 is an attempt to create a sovereign wealth fund for the Philippines. The initial proposal was to draw P275 billion from different state-owned entities for the government to invest and grow the money. It drew criticism after many pointed out that the Philippines does not have enough money to pool for a wealth fund.
Here’s a straightforward explanation:
funniest take on the maharlika investment fund/scam so far 🤠 pic.twitter.com/MvtrDAP96u
— dei (@deiclarice) December 9, 2022
After backlash from Pinoys, there were several changes made to the bill including changing it back to its original name, Maharlika Investment Fund or House Bill No. 6608. Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and Social Security System (SSS) were also removed as sources of funding.
Safeguards were also added to ensure clean handling of funds: Jail time for violators plus a fine of up to P2-M. As for the proposed Maharlika Investment Corporation, the finance secretary will be appointed chairman of the Board of Directors instead of the president.
What do you think of Arjo Atayde being involved in the Maharlika Investment Fund? Share your thoughts in the comments!