Koko sees dead end for anti-dynasty bill

By Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 19 2012 05:06 PM | Updated as of Oct 20 2012 01:12 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The head of the Senate's committee on electoral reforms admits a bill seeking to end political dynasties will not be passed in the current Congress.

Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III said there are many roadblocks, including the present composition of Congress, where many lawmakers themselves belong to dynasties.

"It will not pass during this Congress," he told reporters on Friday. "But let us start the debates so that if we have to file a bill on political dynasties in the next Congress, we will file an improved one."

Pimentel added that most lawmakers will already focus on the upcoming elections, and cited the argument that people should be left to decide if they want members of political dynasties elected or not.

Still, Pimentel is set to tackle anti-political dynasty bills at a committee hearing on Tuesday next week to see how they can be fine-tuned.

He said he wants an improved version of the measure, which he intends to refile in the 16th Congress.

Pimentel hopes a new breed of young lawmakers, even  if they come from dynasties, would help the bill move forward in the future.

"Nando'n ang idealism ng kabataan," he said. "They grew up in a different period of time from their parents'. Maybe they have a different way of thinking."

Need for enabling law

For his part, Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes said it will be difficult to enforce the anti-political dynasty provision of the 1987 Constitution unless an enabling law is passed.

Brillantes was asked about a petition filed in the High Court seeking to compel the poll body to enforce the constitutional provision.

Brillantes said lawmakers will never pass such a law, suggesting instead that a people's initiative to craft such a law be done.

The law shall go the route of a people's initiative to amend any portion of the Constitution. With a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News