MANILA -- Malacañang refused Friday to comment on the proposed Political Party Development Act, saying that it will first study the Senate bill.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Cabinet had discussions about the measure but were based mainly on media reports.
"We will have to study the entire thing before we give you a comment," Valte said.
Senate Bill 3214 or the Political Party Development Act seeks to penalize political turncoats and create a state subsidy fund for political parties.
The bill also seeks to institutionalize a strong party system in the country and promote transparency in campaign financing.
If the measure is passed, political turncoats will be removed from office and banned from running for any position in the following elections.
They will also be disqualified from appointment to any public office for three years after their term expires.
The bill also establishes a system, which will provide funds for accredited political parties for party development and campaign expenditures.
Candidates who will violate the measure will be punished with imprisonment of not less than six years but not more than 12 years or a fine ranging from P50,000 to P500,000.
For parties who violate any of the same provisions of the bill, the penalty will be a fine of not less than P100,000 but not more than P1,000,000.
Authors of the measure are Senators Edgardo Angara, Jinggoy Estrada, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Franklin Drilon.
Senators Sergio Osmeña III and Francis Escudero are among those who oppose the bill, saying the changing political parties is common and should not be treated as a crime.
Asked if the Palace see the bill as unrealistic, Valte said, "That depends really on the leadership of the political parties." (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)