MANILA, Philippines – In his last State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Benigno Aquino III endorsed a law that will prohibit many members of Congress and their families from seeking elective posts: the anti-dynasty law.
"Panahon na para ipasa ang isang (It's time to pass a) Anti-Dynasty Law," said Aquino, who is arguably a member of a political dynasty himself. (READ: Full text of Aquino's SONA in English)
And he made the appeal before the joint session of Congress, the largest gathering of the Philippines' longest-surviving political dynasties. (READ: A nation of billionaires, dynasties and yayas)
A controversial family that has become the symbol of dynasties is the family of Vice President Jejomar Binay, who has controlled Makati politics for decades until the recent suspension of his son Jejomar Erwin Binay.
Binay's two daughters are in Congress – Senator Nancy Binay and Makati City Representative Abigail Binay. The Vice President is also gunning for the presidency in 2016. (READ: Senator Binay, you got it wrong)
While he said it may not be fair to pass a law that would bar someone who wants to serve the public from seeking an elective post, Aquino added that this reasoning is eclipsed by need to make sure families or individuals should not be allowed to perpetuate themselves in power.
"Kumontra akong pagkaitan ang isang tao ng karapatang tumakbo sa puwesto, dahil lang sa kanyang apelyido. Bakit nga naman tayo gagawa ng batas para pigilang maglingkod ang gustong maglingkod?
"Pero napapaisip po ako: May mali rin sa pagbibigay ng pagkakataong habambuhay na magpakasasa sa kapangyarihan ang isang tiwaling pamilya o indibidwal."
(I did not agree that someone will be prevented from seeking public office just because of his surname. Why are we going to pass a law that will prevent people from serving the people?
But I gave it some thought. There is also something wrong in allowing a family or an individual to stay in power for eternity.)
This is why, he said, he opposed suggestions for him to stay in power beyond the constitutional limit of 6 years for Philippine presidents.
There is no guarantee that the next president will be sincere in serving public interest, he said. – Rappler.com