Lacson, Pimentel support anti-political dynasty billBy Maila Ager
MANILA, Philippines—The Senate started on Tuesday discussions on a bill prohibiting the establishment of political dynasties in the country.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, who was present during the first hearing of the Senate committee on electoral reforms, threw his support behind the passage of the measure, saying he would retire from politics if his son, Ronald Jay, runs and wins in the 2016 polls.
Lacson’s term as senator will end in 2013 and under the constitution, he could not return to the Senate until 2016.
“Personally, I’m against political dynasty,” the senator said during the hearing.
“You know, my son is running for vice governor in Cavite. I told him if he wins big and attempts to run for governor in 2016, that should signal my retirement from politics because nandun na sya. That’s my position,” he added.
Interviewed after the hearing, Lacson said, “it’s about time” that Congress should pass an enabling law that will comply with the constitutional provision on political dynasty.
Under Senate Bill 2649 filed by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, political dynasty is when a person, who is the spouse of an incumbent elective official or relative within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity of an incumbent elective official, holds or runs for an elective office simultaneously with the incumbent elective official within the same province or occupies the same office immediately after the term of office of the incumbent elective official.”
“It shall also be deemed to exist where two (2) or more persons who are spouses or are related within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity run simultaneously for elective public office within the same province, even if neither is so related to an incumbent elective official,” the bill said.
But Lacson said the bill should not only be confined in the provinces but should also cover elective posts in the national level.
“Dapat isama. Walang distinction, basta elective office, dapat national at local (It should also be included. There’s should be no distinction. It should be both national and local),” he told reporters.
“Para talagang bigyan ng halaga ang provision sa Constitution about political dynasty dapat sakupin din talaga. Kasi sa tingin ko, parang mahalay din tingnan mag-ama, magkakapatid, magasawa, nasa isang plenaryo (We should really cover it to fulfil the provision of the Constitution. It would be obscene to see father and child, siblings, spouses in the same plenary),” Lacson said.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III also expressed concerned over a provision in the bill that prohibits two siblings from running at the same time even if they have no relative holding an elective post.
“Kahit hindi kayo incumbent pero magkapatid kayong nagtakabuhan bawal. Yun ang pagkakaintindi ko. Meaning to say, you brother has a veto power over your running. E paano kung galit sa yo si brother mo,” Pimentel asked.
Both Lacson and Pimentel agreed that the bill could not be passed before the 2013 elections but they were hopeful of its approval in time for the 2016 polls.