Defining dynasties: Miriam, Lacson-A A +A
Thursday, October 25, 2012
“The question is whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
--Alice in Lewis Carrol’s “Through the Looking Glass”
THE provision in the Constitution about political dynasty doesn't suffer from multiple meanings. Its monumental flaw is that it left to Congress to define the phrase.
Now as legislators finally start doing that, 25 years after the 1987 document, the first problem is how much or how far the ban will cover.
Should it apply only to local offices, which Sen. Miriam Santiago's Senate Bill #2649 provides, or should it apply to national offices as well, which Sen. Ping Lacson proposes?
Santiago's bill says the "situation" exists when, in the same province, (a) an incumbent's spouse or relative holds or runs for an elective office simultaneously with the incumbent; or (b) the same spouse or relative occupies the same office immediately after the term of the incumbent; or (c) two or more persons who are spouses/relatives run simultaneously, even if not related to an incumbent.
Targeted are immediate succession by an incumbent's spouse or relative and simultaneous running by spouses and relatives, whether related or not to an incumbent.
That would ban more than one Garcia or Osmeña from being candidates in Cebu but wouldn't prevent two Cayetanos or Estradas from sitting in the Senate.
But not to worry, clan leaders. That wouldn't apply to next year's elections, maybe not in another 25 years.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 25, 2012.