The Consultative Committee (Con-com) tasked by President Duterte to review the 1987 Constitution voted on Monday to regulate political dynasties up to the second degree of consanguinity and affinity.
The voting took place at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City, where Con-com members decided to regulate political dynasties in the new charter instead of banning them.
This regulation prohibits relatives up to the second degree from holding or running for multiple simultaneous positions at the national, regional (or constituent state), local and barangay levels.
This means that parents, in-laws, children, grandparents, and grandchildren of an incumbent official will be prohibited from holding or running for positions.
However, the extent of prohibition on succession of incumbent public official by a relative has yet to be voted on.
There were 19 out of the 20 Con-com members present with only Father Ranhilio Aquino absent during the voting.
The Con-com members first voted between banning or regulating political dynasties, where 10 members voted to regulate political dynasties while nine members voted for a total ban.
Afterwards, the Con-com decided whether regulation should cover relatives until the second, third or fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity.
Nine voted to regulate relatives until the second degree, only one voted until third degree, and nine until fourth degree.
A run-off vote was hence conducted, where Con-com member Virgilio Bautista changed his vote to regulate until the third degree to regulate until the second degree.
Con-com member and former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. earlier pushed for a total ban saying regulating would only allow loopholes.
“If it is only regulated, there would be loopholes in the very idea of stopping political dynasties,” Pimentel said.
Con-com member and De La Salle University Political Science Professor Julio Teehankee said total ban could be risky as there might not be any qualified candidates left to run.
“We are not banning political families because that goes against choice to suffrage, what we are saying is give chance to others,” Teehankee said.
“Our recommendation is to regulate, to balance both the need to address the monopoly but at the same time address other issues of access, democratic principle and even political recruitment,” he added.
Palace welcomes Con-com vote
Malacañang welcomed Con-com’s recommendation.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, in a Monday Palace press briefing, said that despite President Duterte’s earlier statement about political dynasties, he expressed hope that Congress would consider the recommendation of the Con-com.
“I think the sentiment of the President himself is he does not consider political dynasties as bad per se. He has said that sometimes they can lead to good results,” Roque said.
“But we respect and defer to the wisdom of the Consultative Commission and I hope that Congress will consider this particular recommendation,” he added.
Roque had earlier said that the President formed the Con-com to expedite the process of crafting the country’s new Constitution that will fit a federal form of government. He also said that the President wanted the Congress to wait for the work outcome of the Con-com.
Early this year, Roque said that not even a shift to a federal form from a unitary type of government can put an end to political dynasties in the country, and that only the voting public can address the issue.
“So kung meron pong tinatawag na dynasties, eh siguro po desisyon din iyan ng taumbayan (So if there are dynasties in the country, that is the decision of the voting public),” he added.
In December last year, Duterte said there was nothing wrong with political dynasties, noting that it was the people who voted for them in the first place.
Duterte, a former Davao City mayor, said his family does not like politics despite his daughter Sara being Davao City Mayor, and son Paolo, being the city’s former vice mayor before resigning last month.
“Wala mang problema diyan sa dynasty. Hindi mo mapigilan ang tao (There is nothing wrong with dynasties. You can’t stop the people from voting who they want),” Duterte said in a speech in Malacañang last month.
“’Yung anak ko, ayaw na eh. Madadale ka talaga [ng] kung anu-anong kalokohan sa gobyerno (Even Sara does not want to be in politics anymore. You will be hit with the many issues in government),” he added. (With a report from Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos )
Source: TNP - Trending News Portal