MANILA, Philippines – “I warn you, not all that is legal is moral!”
Sen Miriam Defensor Santiago criticized Vice President Jejomar Binay for his comments against bills seeking to ban political dynasties. Santiago is an author of the Senate version of the measure.
Santiago used the budget deliberations for the Office of the Vice President to express her dismay and disagreement with Binay’s statements. Binay though was not present in the hearing on Monday, November 26.
The senator cited the constitutional provision banning political dynasties.
“We know that the Constitution cannot be changed! It’s a permanent document.”
Santiago stressed that just because there is no enabling law yet, politicians should go against the spirit of the Constitution by allowing their family members to run for office.
Binay has 3 children running in the 2013 midterm polls: Makati Mayor Junjun Binay and Makati 2nd District Rep Abigail Binay-Campos are seeking reelection while neophyte politico Nancy Binay-Angeles is running for senator.
In an interview on November 9, Binay said there is nothing wrong with dynasties.
“I don’t believe in dynasties. Why will there be a law banning someone qualified for public service? The spirit of democracy is the will of the people. Vox populi,” Binay said.
He added, “The issue of dynasty only becomes prominent because of others who don’t win. They want to lessen their rivals.”
‘No perennial loser’
Santiago also took exception to Binay’s statement that bills against political dynasties are only being pushed by those “who are perennial losers” in the elections.
The senator felt alluded to, citing her loss to former President Fidel Ramos in the 1992 presidential polls. Santiago has repeatedly claimed she was cheated.
“I won in the voting but I lost in the count. Hanggang mamatay ako, iyan ang tatayuan ko.” (Until I die, I will stand by that.)
Yet in a tweet, Binay’s spokesperson Joey Salgado said his boss was not referring to Santiago when he made the statement.
Long delayed proposal
Santiago has long been pushing for a bill against political dynasties but her measure has been pending as senators disagree on the definition of political dynasties.
The issue has been a major concern in the run-up to the 2013 polls. Aside from Binay, President Benigno Aquino III also has relatives running for the Senate: his cousin Bam Aquino, and aunt-in-law Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco.
Former President Joseph Estrada and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s sons, San Juan Rep JV Ejercito and Cagayan Rep Jack Enrile, are also seeking a Senate seat.
Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr has proposed a people’s initiative for an anti-political dynasty law. He said the campaign entails the signature of at least 10% of all registered voters, and at least 3% in every legislative district. – Rappler.com