Signature drive on for anti-dynasty law


MANILA, Philippines—A political party set to participate in next year’s elections on Saturday said it has started collecting signatures for a people’s initiative for a law that would prohibit political dynasties in government.

The Social Justice Society’s initiative, entitled “An Act Defining Political Dynasties that are Prohibited under Article II, Section 26 of the 1987 Constitution, and Providing Penalties for its Violation,” received the first signatures from the party’s members as well as students, teachers and other supporters in the academic sector.

“Those who say that there’s nothing wrong with political dynasties, that they are good public servants despite belonging to dynasties, are just greedy for political power. There many other Filipinos who have the same ideas and plans for good governance. Political dynasts should not be allowed to monopolize opportunity to serve the country,” SJS president Samson Alcantara told the INQUIRER in an interview.

“They close their eyes to the fact that there is a constitutional policy against dynasties. The greed for political must be moderated. Those who advocate social justice should practice it. Those who invoke the Constitution must not brazenly undermine the policies enshrined therein,” he added.

Alcantara, a lawyer who is running for Senate under SJS in the 2013 polls, said the initiative “will provide ample opportunity for those who are perceived to be members of political dynasties to air their side and convince the people that there is indeed nothing wrong with political dynasties.”

Another political group, the Kapatiran Party launched an initiative against political dynasties last April but has yet to collect signatures since the Commission on Elections has yet to promulgate rules on the “prescribed form” for an initiative for a national law.

Alcantara said that unlike Kapatiran, the SJS will not wait for the Comelec rules. He said the party would officially notify Comelec about the initiative upon gathering 100,000 or so signatures.

“They (Comelec commissioners) should do their duty and come out with the rules soon so we can comply,” the lawyer said, adding that he could not understand why the Comelec was taking a long time coming out with the “prescribed form.”

“An initiative for a national law or statute would take the form of our republic acts, which contain declarations of policy, definition of terms, penal provisions, etc. There should be no difficulty crafting the prescribed form?” he said.

The SJS leader deplored the Congress’ failure to pass an antidynasty law 25 years after the Constitution was approved.

“It is generally perceived that political dynasties in both the Senate and the House of Representatives have influenced and co-opted the Halls of Congress as their own private preserve to protect serve their familial interests, hence the failure to pass a law which defines political dynasties.” Alcantara said.

Compared to the Kapatiran initiative and the bills against political dynasties pending in the legislature that were filed by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino, the SJS proposal is more restrictive because appointed officials are taken into consideration.

The SJS defines a political dynasty as “a family where more than one of its members, up to the third civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, occupy any elective or appointive position in the government equivalent to the rank of salary grade 25 or higher and intents to perpetuate itself through fielding one of its members to run for election to a public office.”

The Department of Budget and Management website lists elective and appointive officials with the salary grade of 25, earning in the range of P50,000 monthly. Among them are city and municipal councilors, municipal vice mayors, city department heads, provincial election officer, vocational school superintendent, district engineer, and those other ranks such as Director I, Collector of Customs V, Clerk of Court VI, Executive Assistant VI, Court Attorney VI, Professor II, State Counsel II, and Registrar of Deeds III.

Unlike the Kapatiran initiatives and the two bills which distinguish between national and local positions, the SJS initiative prohibits any member of political dynasty, including his spouse, from running for any elective position, including running to succeed an incumbent elective official who is a relative.

Under the Constitution and Republic Act No. 6735 or the Initiative and Referendum Act of 1989, a people’s initiative for a national legislation must be signed by at least 10 percent of all registered voters and at least three percent in every legislative district.

Once the Comelec has verified the law, referendum on the proposal must be held with in 45-90 days.

In 2002, the SJS pushed for an antidynasty law from Congress via an indirect initiative, or filing a proposed law for Congress to deliberate on.

When Congress did not act on the proposal, SJS appealed to the Supreme Court to compel legislators to deliberate on the SJS bill. However, the Court said it could coerce Congress, a co-equal branch of the government, to legislate.

Alcantara said a suit pending before the Court that seeks to compel the Comelec to disqualify members of political dynasties might also suffer the same fate since the poll body is an independent constitutional body.

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  • bongarroyo

    segurado pipirma kaagad rito ang pamilya, marcos, arroyo, binay, estrada, enrile at iba pang mga politikong tapat na naglilingko sa bayan …..mga politikong hindi nagsisinungaling at lalong hindi nagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan…………….LOL

    • Pogi=”No To Political Dynasty”

       Haha tama ka diyan! Naka deploy na mga private army nila para mang harrass. Ingat tayo!

  • boybakal

    This is what I want to hear. A very extensive explanation of anti dynasty law.
    People are howling, anti dynasty, no to political dynasty and yet nothing comes our definite that defines what is this Political Dynasty.
    After reading the proposition of  Atty. Samson Alcantara, I am convinced and definitely support him.
    No to Political Dynasty, Give other a chance.
    Thank you Professor Epoy Marte.Samson Alcantara.

  • firmelilia_12LAF

    At last!  Do we see the beginning of the end of political dynasties?  Matutuwa dito ang mga Villafuerte at Fuentebella sa Camsur. Make it fast, please, baka hindi makahabol sa 2013 elections. Political LORDSHIP, GOOD BYE!  MABUHAY ANG PINAS!

  • symonwho

    We need to have the anti dynasty and foi laws and the country will surely take-off towards prosperity, wealth and power distribution and better transparency. I expected Pnoy to leave a legacy that ensures the Constitutional mandates are enacted permanently. We the people should therefore take action on what the insensitive and power hungry political leaders refuse to heed.

    No family has the monopoly of love of country and the ability to contribute to its betterment. We have well meaning citizens who can serve better given the even playing field to prove their worth. True democracy creates the environment for anyone to be able to serve his country with integrity.

    Extended rule of the political and economic powers by a few vested interests is the formula for chaos and anarchy as history and current events have demonstrated.

  • Pogi=”No To Political Dynasty”

    Yehey! Finally meron na rin naglakas ng loob na gumawa nito. Harinawa hindi peke tong grupo na to baka naman pitikin land ang tenga nila eh magsitakbuhan na. Good luck sa People’s Initiative!

    Isang sampal ito sa mga politiko kung ito ay magtatagumpay! 

  • basilionisisa

    I wonder if Mr Alcantara thought of his (future) grandsons/granddaughters who might want to follow in his footsteps to perpetuate his Legacy of good governance if he gets elected in the Senate…

    • wawangpenoy

       Sira ka pala eh. Kaya nga kailangan ng magkaroon ng enabling law itong anti-dynasty provision.

  • jeronimo

    papirmahin nyo yung presidente!

    • Ding

      May nakita ka na bang endorsement sa sinumang Aquino na kumakandidato?  Ipursige mo ang kilusang ito para sa lahat hindi against sa isa lang…SA GANYANG PARAAN MAGIGING JERONAMING LAHAT IKAW…

      Naumpisahan na ‘yan, with:

      (3 TATLONG TAON…walang nangyari!)

      Susog mo, at nating lahat, sana’y magtuloy-tuloy na.

      • jeronimo

        bam aquino at cojuanco, hindi ba?

  • Lolo Mo

    Sama ako riyan. Saan ako pipirma? Atty. Alcantara, tell us where to go!

  • i_am_filipino

    As in mayors and their children who are into politics, they can rig or buy voters in a city or small town. The bigger political dynasty, the chance of more winning because of many reasons.

  • Josemakabayan

    Count me in !!! Sama na lahat Ng may gusto Ng pagbabago sa mukha Ng politika sa bansa !!!!!

  • boybakal

    Congress don’t act on it, Senate don’t want this anti dynasty law.
    Who would then act on this. Well, the sovereign people would.
    Thru People’s Initiative, the mass force, then this anti dynasty law should push thru.

    Give others a chance, don’t make politics an occupation, it is public service.
    Equality not monopoly.

    • willylansangan

      ask comelec to put it on the ballot this coming election a plebicite

      • $20733759

        Good suggestion, SJS and Kapatiran, what about it, let this be the real beginning! No extra costs, just extra concern.

  • Stuubs

    This is one of the many initiatives agaist political dynasty in our country…We Filipinos must educate our selves on how to be  responsible citizens because this is the only antidote against all form of corruption….We just can’t rely on the politicians to fix the ills of our political system for they just create some loopeholes into our laws and makes it ineffective.If we are really serious about putting an end to the political dynasty,we as an individual must teach ourselves to exercise our political rights diligently on choosing our next leaders because there is no law that would do it for us…vote responsibly !

  • Htee


    LET’S DO IT….

  • OleSapra aka ARGUS

    MOB RALLY !!!

  • virgoyap

    Let’s make this signature campaign run fast throughout the country. Move! Move! Move! These “thick-faced” people are making public offices extension of their families…Shameless!!!

  • $20733759

    No to Political Dynasties, Yes to SJS and Kapatiran party! Walang atrasan, tuloy and laban para sa kaunlaran at bayan!

  • bugoybanggers

    Unahin ninyong papirmahin yung mga taga squaters area. Tingnan natin at damain ang pulso nila. Alam ng lahat na kahit anong papirma natin sa may mga alam wala ring mangyayari dahil mas nakarami ang mga POLPOL na BOBOTANTE sa lugar na iyan. Ang inaalala ko, baka magalit pa sila dahil mawawala yung suply nilang1supot (1/2kg NFA rice, 2 latang maliit na sardinas, 3 paketeng noodles at 1 boteng miniral water at yung MUKHA ng kanilang IDOL), yeaks!

  • Eugenio D

    Pwede kaya maka-sign on line nang makarami agad ? This will help level the playing field !

    • Pogi=”No To Political Dynasty”

       Good Suggestion!

  • Aturni

    Is there a way to sign on line?  Mas mabilis ito…

  • wawangpenoy

    May mga galamay ba kayo dito sa US & Canada? para naman maka lahok kami. Although I may not be too late for this. Saan ba dapat magpunta para makapirma kasi I’ll be vacationing for Christmas

  • baltik75

    Where is the signature drive?  How can I include my signature , the rest of my family and friends?  Please count all of us!  

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