It’s “wrong, unfair” to rail against political dynasties without identifying those who are corrupt and who aren’t, reelectionist Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano told antidynasty advocates.
Cayetano has served in the same Senate with elder sister Pia since 2010, and could do so again in the next three years should he win a second six-year term in 2013.
“My advice to antidynasty advocates is to start identifying [corrupt political families]. It’s wrong, unfair and it doesn’t help when you say you’re against all dynasties but when you are asked away from the cameras, you’d identify which families are OK and which are not,” Cayetano said in a recent interview with reporters.
“If you have relatives in government and all of you are clean, isn’t that better than being the only one in government from your family but you’re quite corrupt?” he added.
Cayetano said the bottom line issue on political dynasties was equal opportunity in winning elections between those who have money and influence, and those who don’t.
“So how do you create a system like that in the US where one Barack Obama became president of the United States? Number one, there’s the question of fund raising in elections. Number two, the real issue is who’s corrupt and who’s not?” the senator said.
Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, himself the son and namesake of a former senator, and who chairs the Senate committee on electoral reforms, has said that his committee will conduct hearings on the pending bill against political dynasties to define what a political dynasty is.
The necessary prohibitions called for in the Constitution would logically follow once a political dynasty has been defined, Pimentel said, adding that while the bill filed by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has no chance of passing in time for the 2013 election, it could still be refiled in the next Congress.
Pimentel himself would have shared the same Senate with his father, Aquilino Jr., had he been proclaimed senator immediately after the 2007 elections. But it was only in 2011 when Pimentel took his seat in the Senate after Juan Miguel Zubiri resigned following reports of massive electoral cheating in Mindanao.
Zubiri has denied any participation in the fraud that supposedly benefited his candidacy.
The 2013 election is shaping up to be a free-for-all among the country’s political families.
President Aquino’s cousin, Bam, is running for the Senate with the Liberal Party-led ruling coalition. The President’s aunt by affinity, Tingting Cojuangco, is running with the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
UNA’s senatorial slate also includes Vice President Jejomar Binay’s daughter, Nancy; Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s son, Jackie; and Sen. Jinggoy Estrada’s half-brother, JV.
First posted 7:44 pm | Friday, November 2nd, 2012