Political dynasty ban could doom BBL: think tank

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 16 2018 01:28 PM | Updated as of Sep 19 2018 07:45 PM

MANILA - An anti-political dynasty provision could jeopardize the approval in a plebiscite of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), a Mindanao-based think tank warned Friday.

Lawyer Benedicto Bacani, executive director of the Institute for Autonomy and Governance, cited the cultural background and distinct type of governance in the Bangsamoro “rooted in the sultanate” and “family ties.”

"Hinding-hindi naman katanggap-tanggap yun (That's unacceptable)," he told ABS-CBN News referring to proposals to ban political dynasties in the Bangsamoro. 

"I think that will even affect 'yung sa plebiscite. Baka matalo 'yung BBL kapag may provision ka na ganun (The BBL might lose if it contains such a provision)," he said.

A "more effective antidote" to political dynasties, he said, would be a "political structure that will allow civil society, marginalized groups, ordinary citizens to have an opportunity to have a role in government."

"They will have a fighting chance," he said.

Under the BBL, half of the members of the parliament of at least 80 members will consist of representatives of political parties elected through a system of proportional representation.

Seats are also reserved for sectoral representatives and non-Moro indigenous peoples.

"You will have an election where political platform will matter and not because you’re part of a family or a dynasty," Bacani said at a Makati forum.

Bacani’s group has spent 13 months training people in the Bangsamoro on governance and the establishment of political parties in preparation for the establishment of a new Bangsamoro government.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which signed a peace agreement with the government in 2014, is pushing for the passage of the BBL ahead of a shift to federalism.