13 senators sign panel report approving bill vs dynasties

Camille Elemia
The bill covers spouses, siblings, parents, and children; and the spouses of these second-degree relatives

ANTI-DYNASTY. At least 13 senators sign committee report pushing for a bill against political dynasties.

MANILA, Philippines – Thirteen of 23 senators have signed the committee report approving the bill seeking to ban political dynasties.

Senator Francis Pangilinan, chair of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments, filed Committee Report No. 367 with consolidated Senate Bill No. 1765 on Wednesday, March 21.

SB 1765 or the Anti-Political Dynasty Act of 2018 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.”

Article 2, Section 26 of the 1987 Constitution mandates the state to “guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.” (READ: How much of our country will we lose to political dynasties in 2016?)

The proposed measure 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 bill prohibits these people from running for and holding 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 concerned 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
  • If the incumbent is a barangay captain/mayor/governor or district representative, the spouse and the other concerned relatives are also prohibited to run simultaneously for any position in the national level

Persons who are not holding public office shall also be prohibited from running in the same poll if their election will result in a political dynasty relationship.

Under the bill, the Commission on Elections may deny the application for certificate of candidacy of any candidate found in a political dynasty relationship.

Aside from Pangilinan, the following senators signed the report:

  1. Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto
  2. Minority Leader Franklin Drilon
  3. Risa Hontiveros
  4. Loren Legarda
  5. Panfilo Lacson
  6. Grace Poe
  7. Joseph Victor Ejercito
  8. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV 
  9. Nancy Binay
  10. Juen Edgardo Angara
  11. Leila de Lima
  12. Sherwin Gatchalian

Of the 13, 6 are members of political families: Recto, Ejercito, Aquino, Binay, Angara, Gatchalian.

Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, who also has relatives in public office, signed the report but to express his dissent to the measure.

The fate of the measure is still unclear, as it still has to undergo a period of debates and amendments in the chamber. In the House, where the bill has met stronger opposition from lawmakers coming from dynasties, the counterpart measure remains pending in the committee level.

President Rodrigo Duterte has said he supports the bill but doubts it will pass in Congress, which is fillied with his allies.

Here is the copy of the committee report, which would still face scrutiny of senators:

– Rappler.com