5-year election ban vs political turncoats pushed under proposed charter


Posted at Mar 02 2018 06:01 PM

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A provision that imposes a 5-year election ban against politicians who shift to another political party may be included in the draft charter being prepared by a consultative committee, a member of the body said Friday.

"Turncoatism will not be allowed. They (turncoats) should not be allowed in any election within 5 years after moving to another party," Consultative Committee on Charter Change member Susan Ubalde-Ordinario told ANC's Early Edition.

Ordinario said the length of the ban is not yet final as other consultative committee members feel that a year-long ban against political butterflies would suffice.

"[But a] One year [ban] is so easy to do. That's too short," she said.

Ordinario said the 19-member committee is also working on provisions that would provide a clearer stand against political dynasties and a stricter standard in the formation of political parties in a bid to to strengthen the country's party system.

"This time, we will categorically state that the Constitution provides a provision that will define it (political dynasty). It will be self-enacting," she said.

Article 2, Section 26 of the 1987 Constitution provides: "The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law." But this bar has not been enforced given the lack of an enabling law. 

Ordinario said the proposed provisions, however, are still subject to the approval of lawmakers, most of whom would be directly affected.

The body is banking on the political capital of President Rodrigo Duterte, and hopes he would endorse the draft charter in his State of the Nation Address in July to send a clear message to his legislative allies, Ordinario said.

"We hope they (Congress) will [pass the consultative committee draft] because the principal proponent is the President. Hopefully, the President will just call party lines," she said.