Dynasties-A A +A
Friday, January 18, 2013
I MUST have awakened on the wrong side of the constitutional bed. The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines states in Article II Section 26, "The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law."
Former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr., a senator in the 8th Congress and the author of Senate Bill No. 82 in 1987, said late last year that while the Senate has approved his anti-dynasty bill, a House leader warned him that the chamber would not approve the measure.
Alas, the bill is fated to slumber on a la Rip Van Winkle. "The problem was in the House," Guingona said. But not just in the House of Representatives.
Just look at Comedy Central in our local politics. Grupo Progreso members of the Nationalist People's Coalition are batting for Prospero Leonardia to replace the slot left by his deceased brother Andrés.
I can understand the choice if the country is under a monarchy, where the scepter of governance is passed on to fellow blue bloods. Unless Bacolod is ancient Sparta under King Leonidas during the Persian Wars, I fail to see why we need another Leonardia.
COMELEC Resolution No. 9518 stipulates that no substitution of candidates due to withdrawal shall be allowed after Dec. 21, 2012 but a substitute for a candidate who died or is disqualified by final judgment, may file his Certificate of Candidacy up to mid-day of election day, provided that the substitute and the substituted have the same surnames.
Sometimes nothing is better than something. So, if the slate has one Leonardia less, so what? To quote Brutus in Shakespeare's Julius Ceasar's, "Not that I loved Cæsar less, but that I loved Rome more." So too do I love Bacolod more.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia insists their family had to come up with a replacement not just to comply with the law, or fill a blank, but especially to pursue the goals and commitments that Andy had started.
Huh? The Leonardias have a franchise on the goals and commitments that the deceased had embraced? Does the family have a copyright or a patent on these goals, whatever they are? Unless of course, the commitments are to the Leonardias, and not to Bacolodnons.
Is this a case of what's good for the Leonardias is good for Bacolod, and vice versa? C'mon. Bacoleños deserve better treatment than that!
And speaking of political dynasties, Rappler.com will tackle this theme later this afternoon, to be held at the MM Auditorium A at University of St. La Salle, Bacolod from 1-5 p.m. Rappler noted that the same political families have dominated Negros Occidental and might remain the same in the May elections.
Rappler noted in the province's electoral history indicates that power-sharing among the old rich is accomplished most conveniently through politics. The same clans dominate the field-Montelibanos, Lacsons, Amantes, Yulos, to name a few. Even Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco Jr, acknowledged as a political kingmaker, is now based in Pontevedra.
The local middle class has likewise crept into the political arena. The likes of the Leonardias, Puentevellas, Ramoses, and Espinos have emerged to build their own political turf in support of their business interests. Sun.Star Bacolod characterized them as "power aspirants" who needed to "expand their bureaucratic services to accommodate wider patronage."
The event will be headlined by María Ressa, former CNN Jakarta bureau chief and now Rappler CEO and executive editor. She will be joined by journalists Chay Hofileña, Ayee Macaraig, Josh Villanueva, and Patricia Evangelista. To those with Facebook and Twitter accounts, these veteran journalists will talk about the potentials and power of social media.
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Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 18, 2013.