Con-Com eyes ban on political butterflies in proposed charter

Camille Elemia

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Con-Com eyes ban on political butterflies in proposed charter
The Consultative Committee en banc is set to vote on the proposal on May 2

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte’s Consultative Committee (Con-Com) on the revision of the 1987 Constitution eyes banning turncoatism or changing of political parties.

Con-Com spokesman Ding Generoso said the subcommittee on political reforms and levelling of political field approved the proposal on April 19. Julio Teehankee, political scientist and former dean of De La Salle University’s College of Liberal Arts, is the subcommittee chair.

The proposed anti-turncoatism provision seeks to:

  • prohibit switching of parties while in office
  • prohibit switching of parties two years before and after elections
  • impose stiff penalties, including removal from post for the remainder of the term and ban from running in the succeeding election

Over the years, there have been bills filed seeking to end political turncoatism but Congress, which will be directly affected, has yet to pass it.

Party-switching has fueled the rise of huge and powerful parties that have dominated past and present administrations – from the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) under Ferdinand Marcos, to the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) during the term of Corazon Aquino, followed by the Lakas-NUCD-UMDP founded by Fidel Ramos, the Laban ng Makabayang Masang Pilipino (LAMMP) of Joseph Estrada, Liberal Party (LP) under Benigno Aquino III, and most recently the PDP-Laban under President Rodrigo Duterte.

In his 2014 opinion piece, Teehankee said politicians “constantly switch their affiliation from one administration party to another in order to gain access to state resources and patronage.”

The en banc is set to vote on the proposed provision in a session on Wednesday, May 2. –

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is a former multimedia reporter for Rappler. She covered media and disinformation, the Senate, the Office of the President, and politics.