MANILA - Malacañang on Tuesday told Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan to challenge Congress, not President Rodrigo Duterte, in passing legislation that would ban political dynasties in the country.
Pangilinan earlier said only by Duterte's order would an anti-political dynasty bill go through Congress, which is filled with the latter's allies.
If the President really wants to dismantle oligarchy in the Philippines like he claims he has done already, he would certify as "urgent" such a legislation, the senator pointed out.
Duterte certified the contentious Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 as "urgent" before it was signed into law, as the country grappled with the coronavirus pandemic.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque however said that the senator's challenge was wrong as it is the mandate of Congress to pass legislation.
“Parang mali po iyong paghamon niya kasi ang pagpapasa po ng batas ay isang katungkulan ng lehislatibo. So kinakailangan po siguro hamunin niya iyong mga kasama niya sa Senado at sa Kamara na ipasa iyang batas na iyan," Roque told reporters.
Duterte earlier claimed he “dismantled the oligarchy” in the country without declaring martial law, a few days after lawmakers denied ABS-CBN a fresh franchise which was seen as a fulfillment of his earlier promise to ensure the non-renewal of the network's license.
Experts however have dared him to crack down on political dynasties if he's sincere about "dismantling the oligarchy" in the Philippines.
--Report from Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News