ALTHOUGH there is no counterpart measure yet in the Senate, the leadership of the House of Representatives on Tuesday vowed to pass the controversial Anti-Dynasty Bill.

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said the chamber is inclined to pass the proposed anti-dynasty law not for the reason that he wanted it but since the 1987 Constitution calls for it.

The proposed measure, which is limited only to second degree of consanguinity or affinity, has been submitted for plenary for debates after the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms chaired by Capiz Representative Fredenil Castro unanimously approved it.

This is the first time that similar measure passes the committee level.

"I want to see the bill pass in this Congress although there is no counterpart bill yet in the Senate," Belmonte said.

He said that cousins and nephews of seating officials are not included, "meaning that they can still run to any public office."

"But I am open to amendment by extending the measure up to third degree of consanguinity," Belmonte said as he stressed that he personally want the measure to become a law because the Constitution is asking for it.

Under the bill, the authors describe the measure as "concentration, consolidation or perpetuation of public office and political power by persons related to one another."

"A political dynasty exists when two or more individuals who are related within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity hold or run for national or local office in successive, simultaneous or overlapping terms," the committee report reveals.

It further said that spouse refers to the legal or common law wife or husband of the incumbent elective official.

The second degree of consanguinity or affinity shall include the relatives of a person who may be the latter's brother or sister, direct ascendants or direct descendant, whether legitimate or illegitimate, full or half blood, including their spouse.

The bill stated that no person within the said prohibited civil degree of relationship to the incumbent shall immediately succeed to the position of the latter.

The proposed measure, however, does not apply at the barangay level.

Belmonte said he would like to make some amendments by pushing it further to third degree of affinity or consanguinity when the debates open on the issue.

"But I may withdraw my amendment if there will be violent reaction and will not agree with me. What is important to me is to pass the measure into law because this is what the Constitution mandates," he said. (Sunnex)