Anti-dynasty bill to cover national, village posts

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Thursday, June 2, 2011


THE anti-dynasty measure which seeks to impose the constitutional ban on political dynasties will cover all elective officials from the President down to the Sangguniang Kabataan, members of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms agreed in a hearing Wednesday.

House Bill 3413, otherwise known as the Anti-Political Dynasty Act, has been filed since the 12th Congress in 2001 and has never passed the committee level.

“The Committee made history by finally starting discussions on the measure,” Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño said referring to the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms.

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Article II, Section 26 of the 1987 Constitution expressly provides that "[t]he State shall guarantee equal access to public service and prohibit political dynasty as may be defined by law."

In Wednesday's hearing, the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) expressed full support for the bill.

Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento stressed that without the legislative implementation of Article II Section 26 in the Constitution, the State policy remains a toothless tiger which is nothing but a mere threat.

Sarmiento said the anti-dynasty bill would also allow the distribution of power to as many people and avoid concentration to a selected few.

Under House Bill 3413 filed by members of the progressive party-list bloc, no spouse, or person related within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity, whether legitimate or illegitimate, full or half blood, to an incumbent elective official seeking reelection shall be allowed to hold or run for any elective office in the same province in the same election.

Former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo tops the list of politicians belonging to political dynasties.

His two sons, Camarines Sur Representative Diosdado "Dato" Arroyo and Ang Galing Pinoy Representative Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo, are also members of the House of Representatives. Her brother-in-law, Representative Ignacio Arroyo meanwhile represents the fifth district of Negros Occidental.

In Cebu, Deputy Speaker Pablo Garcia represents the second district while his son, Pablo John Garcia Jr., was elected by his constituents in the province’s third district.

Lanao del Norte’s congressional districts are represented by the mother-and-daughter tandem of Representatives Imelda (first district) and Fatima Aliah (second district) Dimaporo.

A husband-and-wife team also exists in Congress with An Waray Representative Florencio “Bem” Noel and Malabon City Representative Josephine Veronique Lacson-Noel.

Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez and his younger brother, Abante Mindanao Representative Maximo Rodriguez, also both occupy House seats. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)

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