MANILA, Philippines – Re-electionist Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday pushed for a deeper conversation on political dynasties due to observations that many of the 2013 senatorial candidates are members of powerful political families.
Cayetano, whose sister is also a senator, said groups pushing for an anti-dynasty law should start identifying which political dynasties are corrupt.
He said it is unfair that all political dynasties are lumped together and deemed undesirable.
“Ang issue talaga ay kung sino ang corrupt at sinong hindi. Kung magkakamag-anak kayo sa gobyerno pero pare-pareho kayong malinis, mas mabuti ba yun sa isa ka lang sa gobyerno pero napaka-corrupt mo?” he asked.
“Why not have a clear understanding kung sinong dapat hindi? Sinong corrupt, walang ginagawa at inutil sa gobyerno, yun ang wag iboto. Kung sino man ang dapat, yun.”
Senators deliberating on an anti-political dynasty bill have said they want a strict and precise definition of political dynasties.
Senate Bill 2649 of the Anti-Political Dynasty Act by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago defines a dynasty as a situation when an incumbent official's spouse or his or her second-degree relatives hold or seek office together, or when a spouse or relative succeeds him or her. According to the bill, dynasties also happen when spouses or relatives run for or hold public office together even if they are not related to an incumbent official.
The definition, however, is limited to the local level. According to Sen. Koko Pimentel, the Senate electoral reforms committee will study if the bill should cover national positions.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson said the anti-dynasty law should cover national positions.
"Basta elective office, dapat national at local. Puwedeng ma-concentrate ang power sa isang probinsya kung merong national official na nasa elective position," he told reporters.
"Mahalay ding tingnan na mag-aama, magkakapatid, mag-asawa ay nandiyan sa iisang plenaryo."