By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III does not agree with the decision of the Consultative Committee (Con-Com) to “regulate” political dynasties instead of a total ban.
In an interview Wednesday, Pimentel said he wants a “stricter version” of the said regulation and that distant relatives of incumbent government official be completely prohibited from running for office.
The 19-member Con-Com tasked by President Duterte to review the 1987 Constitution on Monday voted regulate political dynasty up to the second degree of consanguinity, under the new proposed Charter.
Pimentel, sought for comment, said he supports the prohibition of relatives beyond the second degree of consanguinity, but thumbed down the Con-Com’s use of the term “regulate.”
“Sa degree, agree ako. Pero disagree na ata ako sa term na regulate, (I agree with the degree. But I’m afraid I might have to disagree with the term ‘regulate’) because they will alow a certain number of related people to run,” he told reporters.
“(Let’s go for a) Strict version na. A total ban kung pasok ka sa prohibited degree ng relationship (if you belong to the prohibited degree of relationship). Huwag yung palambot-lambot na (Let’s not be lame that) you will allow two members, three menbers of the clan,” he added.
“Let us prohibit, ang importante rito (what’s important here is that the), degree of relationship and what kind of arrangement or set up are we prohibiting.”
Pimentel, for his part, said the “most realistic” and “logical” move for the government is to ban succession of relatives in the same position.
“Succession is when one prepares a relative to succeed him or her into office. The incumbent official is using the resources, power of his present office to prepare a relative. That’s what we should prohibit,” he said.
The Senate chief, on the other hand, said he is not dismissing possibilities of non dynsatic succession, such as relatives, that are not currently holding positions, but opt to run at once in an election.
“That’s not their fault if they win,” he said.
Pimentel said the Senate will review the Con-Com’s recommendations when it deliberates on the porposed amendment to Constitution and the shift to a federal form of government.