MANILA - Senate Minority Franklin Drilon said Tuesday he filed a bill against political dynasties ahead of the opening of the 18th Congress, saying such ruling clans held back development in their constituencies.
Under Drilon’s bill, a political dynasty exists when the spouse of the incumbent or when a relative within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity of the incumbent holds or runs for office simultaneously with him or her within the same city or province.
Drilon’s bill also defined the existence of a political dynasty when a relative occupies the same office immediately after the term of office of the incumbent elective official.
The 1987 Constitution bans political dynasties but tasked Congress the task to craft an enabling law. None has been passed so far.
"The Constitution entrusted to Congress the duty to end political dynasties. Unfortunately, we have failed in our duty and, hence, political dynasty still persists and so does poverty," Drilon said in a statement.
Drilon said most of the country’s poorest provinces and municipalities are ruled by “dynastic relationship.”
"Research has found that dynastic concentration has a significantly negative effect on the upliftment of local living standards, noting that lack of real political competition leads to flawed policies," he said.
The senator’s second priority bill seeks to strengthen the country’s political party system by discouraging turncoatism or the practice of switching political party affiliations.
“Our political party system is centered on personalities rather than ideology and political platform,” said Drilon.
Drilon said attempts to reform the political party system failed "because of lack of legal institutional framework to govern system of political parties."