Dick Penson: Pro-divorce, anti-political dynasties

by Kathlyn dela Cruz, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Feb 12 2013 10:54 PM | Updated as of Feb 13 2013 06:54 AM

Independent senatorial candidate and businessman Ricardo "Dick" Penson 

MANILA -- Independent senatorial candidate and businessman Ricardo "Dick" Penson on Tuesday said he will push for the passage of the controversial divorce bill if he wins in the Senate race in May.

Penson, who has been married more than once, claimed there is no difference between divorce and annulment.

Penson is a former husband of veteran actress Dina Bonnevie.

"I would push for divorce because annulment is just another term for divorce. There's not much difference. People may hide behind some moral veil but believe me, it's one and the same," he said on ANC's "Harapan 2013" forum Tuesday night.

But the president and chief executive officer of Ausphil Tollways Corporation said he will also tap the Department of Social Welfare and Development to provide pre-marital seminars for couples to inform them of their responsibilities in a marriage.

While supporting the controversial bill, Penson, on the other hand, is seeking an end to political dynasties in the country.


He claimed that political dynasties are sources of corrupt practices in the government.

"Hinayaan nating patakbuhin ang ating bansa ng mga political dynasties. Ito po ang ugat ng lahat ng kasamaan at katiwalian sa ating bansa," he said.

When asked how his stance against political dynasties is affected by the fact that his oldest sister, Margarita Penson-Cojuico, is the current chairperson of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Penson said this does not in any way affect his advocacy.

"It shouldn't affect the issues regarding anti-political dynasty... She is in an appointive position. Meanwhile, Philip Juico [Margarita's wife] is not in any government position at this time."

No to celebrities for poll ads

Meanwhile, Penson said he sees no need to tap celebrities for advertisements in boosting his candidacy.

"Bukas sa atin 'yan ngunit 'di natin kailangan 'yan. Bakit tayo magsisimula ng bagong pulitika [pero] susundan natin 'yung kalumaan. 'Yung nakaugalian nating mga katiwalian dapat ito iwanan na natin," he said.

"Pati na lang sa application sa Comelec, meron pang stage name. What is this?" he added.

Penson also said he has already launched a Facebook page, answering the question of The Philippine Star reporter Tina Mendez on how he will boost his campaign to make it to the "Magic 12".

"Nagbukas kami ng Facebook page. Within 4 weeks, we had 500,000 hits," he said.

'Don't believe in pre-election surveys'

While admitting that an independent candidate like him is frequently trailing in pre-election surveys, Penson said voters should not rely too much on surveys.

"Huwag po tayong maniniwala sa surveys. Mind conditioning 'yan eh," he said.

He also said people should stop depending on politicians in the country and start standing up for their own rights.

"Kinakailangan pong baguhin na natin ang patronage system of politics in our country. Hindi na pwedeng bigay ng bigay, aasa tayo. Kaya nating bawat isang Pilipino mamuhay ng maganda, itaas ang antas ng ating standard of living. 'Di natin kailangang makiluhod sa mga pulitika dito sa bansa."