MANILA — Rights lawyer and former official Lutgardo Barbo said on Tuesday he was ready to push for laws that would ban political dynasties and turncoats if he wins a Senate seat in the May elections.
"Modesty aside, I know the job of a senator. Again modesty aside, I do not only intend to win a Senate seat. I would like to be an outstanding senator. I have several bills and even resolutions ready to file the day after I'm sworn into office," Barbo told ANC's Headstart.
"We need good governance if we want to move forward. Corruption should be stopped and it’s about time."
Barbo, who was imprisoned under the Marcos dictatorship, previously served as Senate secretary under late senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr and the latter’s son, Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
Barbo also served as governor of Eastern Samar from 1988 to 1998.
The current composition of the Senate leaves much to be desired, said Barbo, who is running under one of 2 PDP-Laban factions led by Pimentel and presidential contender Sen. Manny Pacquiao.
"I would like to give meaning and substance to constitutional provision that says the Senate shall guarantee equal access to public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law," said Barbo.
"Maraming magagaling na kulang sa pera at walang pangalan (there are many good leaders who have no money and no name)... that is why I have to give meaning and substance to the provision of the Constitution."
Political turncoatism should be "outlawed," Barbo added.
"I am ready to file these because I have records, research on these. I'm ready to have it filed the first day I’m elected as senator," he said.
Barbo is a founding member of the PDP-Laban, which was founded in 1982 to oppose the Marcos dictatorship that saw widespread rights abuses and the plundering of state coffers, according to public records.
The PDP-Laban faction backed by President Rodrigo Duterte last week endorsed the presidential bid of the late dictator's son and namesake Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.
When asked who would he support if Pacquiao did not run for president, Barbo answered Vice President Leni Robredo.
"I have always said this time and again, Leni Robredo is a good choice. If Manny Pacquiao were not a candidate and he were not with my party, if he were not running, I would support Leni," he said.
Barbo, however, believed Pacquiao would not withdraw from the presidential race.
"I think it is not in the nature of Manny Pacquiao to just say I throw in the towel and just say I give way. Manny Pacquiao is a fighter in and out of the ring," he said.
Barbo also said the Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth of politicians should be included when they file their certificate of candidacy.
"If you area public official, your [bank] accounts should be open, we should authorize that by law," he said.