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Saturday, August 17, 2019

13 senators sign anti-political dynasty bill

MANILA -- A total of 13, or a majority of senators, signed on Wednesday evening, March 21, the consolidated bill seeking to ban political dynasties.

Senate Bill (SB) 1765, under Report 367 of the Committee on Electoral Reforms and People's Participation, effectively prohibits immediate and extended relatives from running for public office to succeed or replace or simultaneously as an incumbent relative in the same area, among others.

Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon, and Senators Risa Hontiveros, Loren Legarda, Panfilo Lacson, Grace Poe, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Nancy Binay, Sonny Angara, Ralph Recto, Sherwin Gatchalian, Leila de Lima, and Francis Pangilinan signed the bill.

SB 1756 limits the prohibition to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity.

The bill covers spouses (legal and common-law), siblings (full or half-blood), parents, and children (legitimate, illegitimate, and adopted), and the spouses of these second-degree relatives.

The proposed law also bans an incumbent national elective official, including party-list representatives, to have these same set of relatives run for any position in the national and local levels, including as barangay (village) captain, mayor, governor, or district representative in any part of the country.

Pangilinan and De Lima conducted one hearing each on political dynasties and drafted the report.

In a hearing last February 15, resource persons from the academe enumerated the reasons for the need to ban political dynasties.

They said the Constitution bans political dynasties and that Congress needs only to define it.

The resource persons also expressed their belief that political dynasties are killing democracy, causing poverty and inequality, and destroying fairness.

They argued that political dynasties do not allow others to serve as the way of picking leaders is biased toward political dynasties, and keep younger, more able leaders from joining politics.

They said elections dominated by “fat” dynasties are not democratic and are considered dictatorial.

Pangilinan is expected to sponsor the bill when Congress resumes session on May 15. (PNA)

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