Anti-dynasty bill preferred over Cha-cha

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011


INSTEAD of the complicated Charter change (Cha-cha) process, a lawmaker said the country’s leaders can start changing the political landscape by simply passing the anti-dynasty bill.

Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño said more than changing the Constitution, what is needed is to ensure that its anti-dynasty provision and other progressive sections are followed.

"The former chief justice rightfully observed that power has been monopolized by the economic and political elite, especially powerful political clans,” he said, referring to the statement of former Chief Justice Reynato Puno who called for Cha-cha to bring reform to the political system.

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“So why not pass the enabling law that would make the Constitutional ban on political dynasties a living reality in our national life,” he added.

Casiño called on the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) to include House Bill 3413, otherwise known as “An Act Prohibiting the Establishment of Political Dynasties” as priority legislation when it will meet next month.

"If President Aquino is serious in its 'daang matuwid' and wants serious reforms in the political arena, efforts should be made to pass a law curtailing political dynasties,” the lawmaker said.

The Ledac is composed of the President as chairman, the vice president, the Senate president, the House Speaker, seven Cabinet members, three senators, three House members, and one representative each from the local government, youth, and private sectors.

The measure defines “political dynasty” as the concentration, consolidation or perpetuation of public office and political power by persons related to one another.

It also deemed to exist where two or more persons, who are spouses or are related within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, run simultaneously for elective office within the same city or province.

“This government can take this golden opportunity to effect political reforms by making HB 3413 a priority for passage by Congress. If this becomes a Ledac priority, it can be fast-tracked into law in time for the 2013 polls,” Casiño said.

The anti-dynasty bill has been pending with the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms since October 2007.

Co-authors of the measure are party-list Representatives Neri Javier Colmenares (Bayan Muna), Rafael Mariano (Anakpawis), Luzviminda Ilagan and Emerenciana De Jesus (Gabriela), Antonio Tinio (Alliance of Concerned Teachers), and Raymond Palatino (Kabataan). (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)

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