PH on its way to stamp out political Dynasty
by FFE PH News staff
The House of Representatives committee on suffrage and electoral reforms has just approved a unified bill that seeks to forbid relatives from holding or running for national and local seats in ‘successive, simultaneous, or overlapping terms.’
The Anti-political dynasty bill was approved in a unanimous vote by the committee on Wednesday — a landmark move in legislation ever since a similar bill was filed 18 years ago. The bill is now being referred to the plenary before amendments can be made.
While supporters of the anti-political dynasty law cheer the passage in the committee level, they are also aware that the measure still has a long way to go. Bayan Muna party representative and bill co-author Neri Colmenares said that the real challenge was the second phase where legislators, most of whom are part of political dynasties, will tackle the bill on the floor.
ACT Teachers party representative and bill co-author Antonio Tinio meanwhile hoped that those who pushed for the abolition of the pork barrel or PDAF funds would also support the passage of the anti-political dynasty law:
‘The next challenge is for the House to schedule plenary debates. I call on the public, and I hope that the same forces that are for the abolition of the pork barrel will also patronise [this] because we know that the issue of pork barrel is connected with the issue of political dynasties.’
Malacañang has no official stand on the issue — President Aquino himself comes from a political dynasty from both sides of the family.
In the current 1987 Constitution, Article II Section 26 states that ‘The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.’ However, this has not been observed because there is no enabling law that implements the measure.
Relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity are covered in the proposed law. In addition, it also forbids relatives from running at the same time regardless of their relation to an incumbent official.