MANILA, Philippines – Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño on Tuesday urged voters to use the upcoming 2013 elections to end political dynasties by voting for new faces and new names.
Casiño, who is a sponsor of House Bill 3413 or the act prohibiting the establishment of political dynasties, said next year’s elections is an opportunity to elect new public servants who do not belong from a political family.
“Gamitin natin ang 2013 elections para mabali na ang sobrang paghahari ng mga political dynasties na ito. It’s about time na maglagay naman tayo ng mga bagong mukha at bagong pangalan sa iba’t ibang lugar. Kumbaga sa handa, maganda naman na may ibang putahe,” the lawmaker told Studio 23’s “Iba-Balita.”
Casiño believes that dynasties, which control both the economic and political landscape of a certain region, are not doing the country any good.
“Hindi maganda na masyadong namo-monopolize ng iilang pamilya lang ang kapangyarihang pampulitika sa ating bansa. Isang dahilan kaya hindi nagbabago ang ating bansa ay dahil ang may hawak na kapangyarihan sa ekonomiya at pulitikal ay pare-parehong pamilya na lang, pare-parehong interes. Kaya para sa akin, mas mabuting iba naman ang pumasok na hindi nagmumula sa mga pamilyang ito,” he said.
The bill has been pending for 2 years. It underwent a second hearing at the House committee level but has not moved forward.
Casiño claimed the measure is not gaining support because of political dynasties inside the House of Representatives and Senate.
“Basically, ang Kongreso at ang Senado ay balon ng mga political dynasties. Mahigit ng mayorya, miyembro diyan ay galing sa angkan ng pulitika,” Casiño said.
“Parang ito ‘yung FOI [Freedom of Information] Bill, walang tumututol pero misteryosong hindi gumagalaw sa Congreso. Ibig sabihin, sumasangayon sila kung kaharap mo pero ‘yung tunay nilang sentimyento ay ayaw nila,” he added.
What is a political dynasty?
Casiño said political dynasties exist when a spouse of a second degree relative of an incumbent official runs for a government post in the same city or province as that of the official.
According to the bill, a political dynasty also exists when “2 or more persons who are spouses or are related within the second civil of consanguinity or affinity run simultaneously for elective public” in the same area, even if neither is related to an incumbent official.
Casiño admits that passing the bill into law may be a long shot, but he believes that if dynasties are challenged, change will soon follow.
“Aaminin ko, suntok sa buwan ito pero kailangan natin itulak. Importante na tuloy-tuloy na ilaban natin ito. Siguro balang araw dadating din ang panahon na mababago na natin ang sistemang pampulitika, pero at this point, ang labanan ay one step at a time. Siguro sa bawat eleksyon, sa bawat lugar ay i-challenge natin itong mga political dynasties,” he said.
In next year’s senatorial race, several candidates come from prominent political families, including the brother of incumbent Senator Pia Cayetano, Alan Peter; Jinggoy Estrada and step brother JV Ejercito; and the son of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Jack Enrile.
Two relatives of President Aquino will also be running for senator--his cousin Bam Aquino and aunt Tingting Cojuangco.
House Bill 3413, however, does not cover the national level.
Running for Senate
Casiño said he is planning to file his certificate of candicacy (COC) for senator on Wednesday.
He will—literally—run from Luneta to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Intramuros to file his COC to symbolize that being elected to public office is something that has to be worked for.
Casiño is running under the newly-formed MAKABAYAN (Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan) coalition.
He said he is the only member of his family running for public office in 2013.