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Con-Com votes to regulate political dynasties in new charter

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Consultative Committee (Con-Com) voted to include in a new constitution a self-executing anti-dynasty provision, covering politicians' relatives up to the 2nd degree of consanguinity and affinity.

The ban prohibits such relatives from succeeding each other. Whether the provision will cover multiple relatives running in the same election cycle or occupying simultaneous posts will still be voted on.

The voting took place during their en banc session on Monday, March 12, in Pasay City.

Nineteen out of the 20 members were in attendance. Father Ranhilio Aquino was the only member not present during the voting.

The vote on whether to totally ban political dynasties or merely regulate them was first put on the table. The vote to merely regulate beat the total ban by only one vote. Ten voted to regulate while 9 voted for a complete ban.

Former senate president Aquilino Pimentel Jr argued for a total ban.

"If we want to end political dynasties, we better ban them completely. If we just regulate, we just allow loopholes," he told the body.

LOOK: How each Con-Com member voted on anti-dynasty provision (TB=total ban, R=regulation only) pic.twitter.com/tKRaT5qhVl — Pia Ranada (@piaranada) March 12, 2018

Con-Com member and former dean of De La Salle University's College of Liberal Arts Julio Teehankee says the Con-Com's anti-dynasty provision is a "big victory" for reform.

"After more than 32 years, I think this is a victory for the Filipino people. Finally, we have a working, strong yet reasonabe anti-dynasty provision," he said.

Degree

Votes for the provision to cover only up to the 2nd degree of consanguinity and affinity also won by just one vote over coverage up to the 4th degree.

This was during the run-off voting after a tie between coverage up to the 2nd degree and coverage up to the 4th degree, and one vote for coverage up to the 3rd degree.

The winning vote means the provision to regulate political dynasties will cover only parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, and in-laws of an incumbent official. 

But uncles, aunts, nieces, and nephews will not be covered by the provision.

Those covered by the provision:

Succession

It was settled during the Monday meeting that the ban on up to 2nd degree relatives would apply in succession.

This means all relatives within the 2nd degree of consanguinity and affinity cannot run for the position being held by their relative.

Such a prohibition applies to all levels, from barangay captain to president. Thus, the relative of an incumbent president cannot replace him or her.

While the succession issue was easy to resolve, Con-Com members could not agree on how the provision would apply for cases when two or more relatives are running for different government posts in the same election cycle.

What happens if they all win? Who is the official to serve as reference point for the degrees of consanguinity and affinity if none of the relatives are incumbent officials?

Member Arthur Aguilar also pointed to a scenario in which the sibling of a candidate decides to file for candidacy for the same position just to disqualify them. 

It was also asked if the anti-dynasty provision will cover even mistresses, paramours, and domestic partners of an incumbent official.

Because of the complexity of the issues, Chairman Reynato Puno moved for the postponement of voting on them. The discussion and voting are set to take place on Tuesday.

The Con-Com previously agreed to propose a presidential-federal form of government. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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