SC junks 2nd petition vs political dynasties

by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 05 2013 02:52 PM | Updated as of Feb 05 2013 10:52 PM

MANILA - The petition of senatorial bet Ricardo Penson that sought to compel Congress to enact a law defining political dynasties and the Constitutional prohibition on it was junked by the high court in its weekly en banc session on Tuesday.

No details were given, as of posting, for the action.

In a 20-page petition filed last Jan. 28, Penson pointed out that political dynasties are prohibited under Sec. 26, Art. II of the 1987 Constitution which states: "The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law."

"Despite its having been in effect since more than a quarter of a century, the term 'political dynasty' has not yet been made the subject of legislation enacted by the respondents such that, in the meantime, the political and economic life of not less than 90 million Filipinos continue to be controlled and/or dictated upon by 4 political clan alliances (Lakas, NPC, LDP, LP)...," Penson stressed.

He added that the Senate and House of Representatives are responsible for crafting legislation to clearly define political dynasties since the constitutional bar is "not self- executing."

This is the second petition against political dynasties dismissed by the high court ahead of the May mid-term polls.

In November, a petition filed by taxpayer Louis "Barok" Biraogo was also thumbed down by the high court. Biraogo had urged the high court to compel the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to implement the above-stated constitutional bar on political dynasties.

In its ruling on the Biraogo case, the high court said that the constitutional prohibition is a "non-self-executing provision, requiring as it does the legislative act of Congress to define what 'political dynasties' are and to prescribe the scope and limits of such prohibition."