Don't vote for candidates in political dynasties - bishop

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 06 2013 03:26 PM | Updated as of Feb 06 2013 11:26 PM

‘People’s initiative’ also pushed

MANILA, Philippines - From Catholic vote to people’s initiative, bishops said strength by numbers will help cleanse the country of political dynasties.

In an interview with Radio Veritas, Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said the country is slowly being held hostage by a “monarchy” because of a small number of families holding relevant positions.

“Kontrolado nila ang ekonomiya, ang pagne-negosyo, mga projects. Hindi naman nag-umpisa sa highest level ang political dynasty. Karamihan sa mayor muna, konsehal, gobernador, congressman. Sila’t-sila ang nagpapalitan, mga magkakapatid, magkakamag-anak. Kung minsan nga mga magkakamag-anak ay nag-aaway na rin dahil sa politika,” he said.

Those who control the economy are the only ones getting richer, Arguelles said. He asked Filipinos not to vote for opportunists.

Solidarity Philippines and Kontra Daya lead convenor Fr. Joe Dizon agreed.

“Ang political dynasty sa ating bansa ay dapat itigil at yan ay nasa ating konstitusyon. Batay sa pag-aaral namin lahat ng mga probinsya natin sa Pilipinas na pinatakbo ng political dynasty for a long long time ay mas humirap ang kalagayan ng mga tao hanggang ngayon. Ngayon, ano ang pwedeng gawin?”

Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros also suggested a “people’s initiative” against political dynasties after Congress failed to pass an anti-dynasty bill.

“Nasa constitution yan, after 26 years ay wala naman silang ginawang enabling laws kaya hindi ito nasusunod, nagkakaroon pa rin tayo ng mga political dynasty,” he said.

He noted that the Supreme Court did not decide on petitions versus political dynasties precisely because of the lack of enabling laws. “So ang recourse would be to have a people’s initiative na magpapahayag ng gusto natin o ayaw natin ng political dynasty, according to the constitution,” he told Radio Veritas.