More Senate bets want to abolish political dynasties

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 08 2021 01:44 AM

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MANILA — More senatorial aspirants in the 2022 elections are pushing for the abolition of political dynasties in the Philippines, as the number of families involved in politics in the country continues to grow.

Most senatorial bets who were part of TeleRadyo's special program "Sino SENyo?" on Tuesday said they will support and approve, if elected, legislation that will finally put an end to political dynasties in the Philippines.

The program's participants included former senator and Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero of Nationalist People's Coalition, former Defense Secretary Gibo Teodoro of People's Reform Party, Luke Espiritu of Partido Lakas ng Masa, RJ Javellana of Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino, and independent aspirant Carmen Zubiaga.

Javellana said political dynasties are prohibited under the Constitution, and that candidates who do not support this do not deserve a seat in the Senate.

He noted there is a pending bill in Congress seeking to enable a ban on political dynasties, and that elected officials must support it.

"Importante po na isulong natin itong anti-dynasty bill na ito para na rin po sa taumbayan. Maraming pong mga ordinaryong Pilipino ang kayang mamuno, kayang maglead ng ating bansa," he said.

Zubiaga said if elected, she will focus on anti-political dynasty enabling mechanisms.

"Sawang-sawa na po tayo sa pare-parehong apelyido, pare-parehong mukha. Sila sila nag-aaway, at ang kanilang mga constituent hindi makapili ng maayos dahil wala silang pagpipilian dahil sila lang ang nagsisitakbo," she said.

Escudero, a member of a political clan in Sorsogon, noted the law still needs to define specifically what a political dynasty is, saying it can be a "conflict of interest for or against" him.

He also said that he will not attend debates on the political dynasty issue if elected.

"Subalit, kung kailangan ng boto ko para maipasa 'yan, ay boboto ako pabor diyan," Escudero said.

Teodoro also said the Constitution needs to define a political dynasty in its provisions. 

To effectively allow more newcomers to join politics and fare better against political dynasties, he said government should enhance the political party system in the Philippines.

The number of families involved in politics has been growing because the political party system in the country has failed, political analysts have said.

Michael Henry Yusingco of the Ateneo School of Government said this increase can be attributed to two factors: the failure of the country's political party system, and the absence of an enabling law regulating political dynasties.

In 2018, poll lawyer Sixto Brillantes Jr. said the anti-dynasty provision in the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform law has already activated the Constitution's ban on political clans.

The law bans an individual within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to any elected official to seek election or to be appointed to any position in the SK.

Brillantes explained the SK Law's anti-political dynasty provision should be applicable to elective officials in other positions.

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