AN INDEPENDENT senatorial candidate yesterday urged the Cebuanos to file disqualification charges against members of political dynasties in Cebu so the Commission on Elections (Comelec) can hear them before the local campaign will start on March 29.
Businessman Ricardo Penson of Krusada Kontra Dynasty said in a press conference that they plan to file disqualification cases against 178 family dynasties in the country, but their actual petition includes only a few because they need P3 million for filing fee alone.
The 178 dynasties include the Duranos of Danao City, Gullases of Cebu 1st district, the Binghays and Espinosas of Cebu 3rd district, the Radazas of the lone district of Lapu-Lapu City, among others, but only the dynasties in Luzon were included in their petition after the Comelec raised the filing fees.
Penson said that instead of the usual P10,000 filing fee per petition, the Comelec increased it to P10,000 per respondent. The result was that instead of paying only P10,000 in one petition against the 178 political dynasties in the countries, it ballooned to more than P3 million.
He said that because of the skyrocketing Comelec filing fee, they were only able to file against the dynasties of the Dutertes in Davao City, the Villafuertes in Camarines Sur, the Gatchalians of Valenzuela City, the Pinedas of Pampanga, among others.
“So, we are appealing to all persons who are supporting our advocacy against dynasties to file the petition by themselves before their local Comelec if they find dynasties in their localities so the Comelec can conduct hearings,” Penson said.
Penson said Comelec officials will be forced to hear any petition against any dynasty because they are mandated by the Constitution to do so and ignoring such petition will mean they can be charged criminally and administratively.
As to their petition in Comelec Manila, Penson said a hearing was started last week and they hope that several dynasties will be disqualified before May 2013 election.
Penson said that as ruled by the Supreme Court in the past, there’s no need for an enabling law to implement the anti-dynasty provision under Article 2, Section 26 of the 1987 Constitution.
He said that if the Comelec officials under Chairman Sixto Brillantes conducted hearings against fake Party-Lists organizations and disqualified them, there’s no reason why they can’t do the same to family dynasties.
Penson said President Benigno Aquino III may also have violated the anti-dynasty provision of the Constitution when he allowed his first cousin, Paul Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV to run for senator under Team PNoy.
Also during the press conference, Sonny Melencio, chairperson of Partido Lakas ng Masa and Aaron Pedrosa of Sanlakas Party-List said they are supporting the candidacy of Penson for senator because they have the same advocacy against dynasty.
Melencio said they are accompanying Penson in his campaign sorties in areas in the country where Partido Lakas ng Masa and Sanlakas have chapters.