By Mario Casayuran
Thirteen senators crossed party lines and signed Wednesday a consolidated bill banning political dynasties.
The Senate electoral reforms and people’s participation committee endorsed Senate Bill No. 1765, or the Anti-Political Dynasty Act of 2018, after conducting public hearings on the measure. Sen. Francis Pangilinan is the committee vice chairman.
The measure defines political dynasty as the “concentration, consolidation, and/or perpetuation of public office and political powers by persons related to one another within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity.”
This 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 measure was signed by Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon, Senators Risa Hontiveros, Loren Legarda, Panfilo M. Lacson, Grace Poe, Joseph Victor (JV) Ejercito, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Nancy Binay, Juan Edgarda Angara, Ralph G. Recto, Leila de Lima, Sherwin Gatchalian, and Francis Pangilinan.
The bill, under Committee Report No. 367 of the Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation, said any person with political dynasty relationship with any incumbent elective official shall not be allowed to run for or hold public office under the following circumstances:
- to immediately succeed or replace the said incumbent;
- if the incumbent is an elective barangay official, the spouse and the above relatives are prohibited to run simultaneously for any position in the same barangay as well as in the barangays in municipalities or cities within the same legislative district;
- if the incumbent is an elective official of the municipality or city, legislative district or province, the spouse and above relatives are prohibited to run for or hold any elective office simultaneously with the incumbent within the same barangay, municipality, city, legislative district or province;
- if the incumbent is a national elective official, the spouse and the above relatives are likewise prohibited to run simultaneously for any position in the national or local level as barangay captain, mayor, governor or district representative in any part of the country; and,
- if the incumbent is a barangay captain/mayor/governor or district representative, the spouse and the above relatives are also prohibited to run simultaneously for any position in the national level.
Persons who are not holding any public office shall also be prohibited from running in the same election if their election will result in a political dynasty relationship.
Under the bill, the Commission on Elections may deny the application for a certificate of candidacy on any candidate found in a political dynasty relationship.
De Lima and Pangilinan each conducted a hearing on political dynasties and drafted the report.
The lady legislator has been under detention for more than a year on an alleged violation of illegal drugs-connected cases. She had vehemently denied any participation.
Pangilinan is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes and while De Lima is chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation.
In a hearing last February 15, resource persons from the academe enumerated the reasons for the need to ban political dynasties:
- The Constitution bans political dynasties. Congress needs only to define it.
- Political dynasties are killing democracy.
- Political dynasties cause poverty and inequality.
- Political dynasties destroy fairness.
- Political dynasties don’t allow others to serve as the way of picking leaders is biased toward political dynasties. Younger, more able leaders are kept from joining politics due to political dynasties.
- People can’t exercise control over the elected.
- Elections dominated by fat dynasties are abusive (not democratic/dictatorial).