CONGRESS went into recess recently with two important measures left hanging: the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and the anti-political dynasty bill.

The House of Representatives, which moved closer to passing its version of the BBL called the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, failed to tackle the measure in the plenary before it adjourned the other day. The Senate version of the BBL is still stuck in the committee headed by Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

An anti-political dynasty bill “miraculously” reached the House plenary after languishing for decades at the committee level. Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro, chair of the committee on suffrage and electoral reforms, introduced House Bill 3587 in May last year. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte was optimistic about its passage this year but not before some of its provisions are watered down. But even that version wasn’t discussed the other day.

The Senate, on the other hand, was in a wait-and-see attitude. Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, author of one of the three versions of the anti-political dynasty bill in the Senate, said he is waiting for the House to pass its version of the measure before making his move. Sens. Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Joseph Victor Ejercito authored the other anti-political dynasty bills.

I have a feeling, though, that congressmen and the senators were merely paying lip service to the notion of passing such a measure. Consider that 70 percent of the present members of the House belong to political clans. That applies, too, to many senators.

House Bill 3587 originally proposed to bar relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity to hold and run for office in successive, simultaneous or overlapping terms. It also prohibits relatives from running at the same time even if they are not related to an incumbent official.

Relatives included in the first level of consanguinity are your spouse (if you are married), your parents and your children. Those in the second degree are your grandparents, your brothers and sisters, your granchildren, your parent-in-law and your daughters-in-law and sons-in-law.

But a consensus was reached in the House later to allow a maximum of two relatives to run. More than that, a relative or relatives may be allowed to run in the same election as long as they do so in separate provinces or districts.

That watered-down version of the anti-political dynasty bill in the House allows more members of a political clan to run in successive, simultaneous or overlapping terms.

In the Senate, Pimentel’s version is less complicated but stricter. He wants to allow only one member of a family to hold public office from the barangay up to the national level. No exemptions.

While Pimentel has denied he is targeting the Binays yet he is using that particular political dynasty as example. Aside from Vice President Jejomar Binay, the family also has Sen. Nancy Binay, Rep. Abigail Binay and Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. in government posts.

If Pimentel’s measure is passed, Nancy, whose term ends in 2019 yet, will have to resign from the Senate while Junjun and Abigail would be barred from running again for any post--if the VP decides to run for president in 2016.

In Cebu, what will happen, say, to members of such political clans as the Osmeñas, the Duranos, the Garcias, the Gullases, etc.? There will be pruning, which would be good because it would give other leaders a better chance of snagging an elective post.

But as I said, it looks like all our talk here would be academic. I don’t think any of those anti-political dynasty bills would become a law if the people would not exert enough pressure on Congress.