Mad: But which kind of dynasty-A A +A
Monday, February 18, 2013
THE 1987 Constitution is clear: "The state shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be provided by law."
For more than 25 years now, Congress has yet to pass the bill that will enforce the prohibition. The Senate made some feeble attempts but the House didn't even make any pretense of trying.
A two-pronged effort is underway: one, a petition for Supreme Court to compel Congress to pass the enabling law; two, an initiative under Republic Act 6735 for citizens to directly legislate the law.
It is doubtful if the high tribunal will order a co-equal body to do its job although it is mandated by the Constitution. On citizen initiative, can the Movement against Dynasties (MAD) raise 5.2 million signatures from 250 legislative districts?
The off-Congress twin actions, supported by snowballing public opinion, might shame Congress into buckling down and approving an anti-dynasty bill. Then that side route, the still untried people's legislation, may not have to be taken.
However that elusive enabling law may be pursued, consensus still has to be reached on
the dynasty that people want prohibited.
There are variations on the proposal: one politician per family, ban on spouses and relatives by blood or marriage (from second to fourth civil degree), and non-simultaneous occupancy within same province.
How shall dynasty be so defined as to curb its excesses and yet not totally shut out political clans from their own opportunities of governance?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 19, 2013.