MANILA (Mabuhay) – Saying that the time is ripe for more changes to the country’s political system, Senate President Franklin Drilon on Wednesday appealed to his colleagues to give the anti-political dynasty bill a chance.
Drilon once again threw support behind the measure, which is being tackled at the committee level at the Senate.
“It’s time to end the long wait. I encourage our colleagues to give the bill a chance… Naniniwala po tayo na malaki ang magagawa ng anti-political dynasty law sa sistema ng pulitika sa bansa,” he said.
The House of Representatives started earlier this month plenary debates on the anti-political dynasty bill, the first time the bill was sponsored on the chamber’s floor in 27 years.
The proposed legislation seeks to limit the political power exerted by political families by prohibiting relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity to hold or run for both national and local posts in successive, simultaneous, or overlapping terms.
Article II Section 26 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution states that: “The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.”
More than two decades since the ratification of the Charter, however, Congress has yet to pass an enabling law defining what a “political dynasty” is.
Drilon, an administration ally, further said that reform measures, such as the anti-political dynasty bill, enjoy “a supportive political climate” under President Benigno Aquino III’s leadership.
“Let us provide an avenue that will allow for a constructive debate on this very important issue which would bring positive changes in our political system,” he said.
But Aquino – himself a product of political clan from Tarlac – had earlier said the anti-political dynasty bill is not among his administration’s priorities.
Fourteen of the 24 incumbent senators came from prominent political families.
A report showed that political families continue to have a strong hold in both local and national politics, although some clans were rejected by voters in parts of the country during the 2013 elections.(MNS)