ConCom votes to include national, barangay posts in political dynasty ban

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 12 2018 05:12 PM

The Consultative Committee (ConCom) to review the 1987 Constitution voted on Monday afternoon to include national (president, vice president) and barangay positions in the regulated prohibition on political dynasties. 

Voting 18-1, the ConCom decided that relatives within the second degree of affinity/consanguinity of an incumbent president or vice president should not be allowed to succeed the same official.

The decision followed a close vote on Monday morning which saw the ConCom voting to adopt a regulated ban, instead of a total ban, on political dynasties covering relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity and affinity.

Only former Integrated Bar of the Philippines Roan Libarios expressed preference to exclude national positions like the president and the vice president from the ban.

“The evil sought to be avoided has not been present in the national level,” he said, citing the experience in the past five presidents where no political clan or party has been able to dominate the presidency.

“If we craft rules, those should be dictated by evidence,” he said.

But Libarios voted to include barangay officials in the political dynasty ban saying the problems caused by political dynasties are “persistent” there.

Libarios and 15 others voted 16-2 to prohibit relatives of incumbent barangay officials of up to the second degree of consanguinity and affinity from succeeding the incumbent official.

“If we ban relatives from running in national elections for succession, all the more at the local level,” Prof. Ed Tayao said.

Only two ConCom members – lawyers Randolph Parcasio and Laurence Wacnang – opposed the measure. 

Parcasio called the prohibition “unfair and unjust,” and warned that the provision might “impinge upon” the Bangsamoro region, given the close family ties in barangays in the region.

Other members, however, are confident that despite the prohibition, there will still be enough choices at the barangay level.

Deemed included in the ban are legitimate, legitimated and illegitimate children, and step-relatives or half-blood relatives.

ConCom members decided, however, to put off a vote on whether mistresses, domestic partners, boyfriends and girlfriends should also be included in the ban.

ConCom also deferred voting on whether a political ban should be imposed on members of a political dynasty simultaneously running for or holding office in different positions.