MANILA - A framer of the 1987 Constitution dared lawmakers to pass an anti-political dynasty law before amending the charter to prove their sincerity in fostering real change.
Lawyer Christian Monsod said passing an anti-dynasty law and implementing it during the 2019 elections before proceeding with charter change would prove their intentions are not self-serving.
"Pass it now to prove the sincerity of the legislators about real change. And let it apply to the 2019 elections. That's a challenge for them," he told ANC Tuesday.
"Kasi pag sinabing, 'I will pass that later after we've changed the structure.' E show us now how sincere you are because they have not passed it for 30 years," he added.
Fears of more powerful political dynasties have been raised because the proposed charter change is aimed at federalism, which will give more power to local government officials.
"There are approximately 200 clans in the Philippines who control the government. The question is when you devolve power and resources, will you not be hijacked by these dynasties?" he said.
Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, head of the consultative committee on constitutional amendments, earlier warned that federalism would be a lethal experiment unless political dynasties were “neutralized” beforehand.
In its charter change proposal, the political party of President Rodrigo Duterte, PDP-Laban, seeks to ban spouses and other relatives of a candidate within the 2nd degree of consagunity or affinity from seeking elective office.
But for Monsod, the ban should be up to the 4th degree of consanguinity as political dynasties are already entrenched in the government. "Let's see how serious Congress really is," he said.