SC dismisses petition to ban political dynastiesBy Christine O. Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied the motion for reconsideration sought by a businessman who had asked the high tribunal to compel the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to prohibit members of political dynasties from running in the May elections.
In its first en banc session for the year, the high court junked businessman Louis Biraogo’s appeal on the dismissal of his petition earlier by the high tribunal.
“The motion for reconsideration of the dismissal of the Biraogo petition for mandamus for the Comelec to implement the antidynasty ban in the Constitution was denied,” lawyer Ma. Victoria Gleoresty Sp. Guerra, acting SC public information chief, told a press briefing.
But Guerra did not furnish the media with a copy of the court’s resolution on Biraogo’s case.
In October last year, Biraogo filed a 26-page petition for mandamus, asking the high court to order the Comelec to enforce the constitutional ban on political dynasties in the coming national and local polls.
Biraogo had lamented how dynasties still dominate the country’s political landscape, adding that the current batch of candidates for 2013 was the “best testament to that political and constitutional mockery.”
“The refusal of the government, the Congress in particular, to fulfill the constitutional prohibition against political dynasties has been a continuing insult to the Filipino people. Something must be done about this anomaly,” Biraogo said.
Biraogo identified candidates in the forthcoming election who belong to political dynasties: senatorial aspirants Bam Aquino and Margarita Cojuangco, cousin and aunt of President Aquino; the children of Vice President Binay—Nancy, Abigail and Erwin—who are running for senator, congressman and Makati City mayor, respectively; and the family of former President and Manila mayoral bet Joseph Estrada, who has seven relatives running for various positions next year.
The petitioner also cited the Magsaysays, Cayetanos, Villars, Angaras, Revillas, Belmontes, Pacquiaos and Jalosjoses, whose members currently occupy government posts or are running for other positions next year.
Biraogo contended that while the Congress had not yet passed a law defining the term “political dynasties,” the Comelec is vested with implied powers to make a definition and the “ministerial duty” to prohibit political dynasties.
Aside from Biraogo, other petitioners seeking the high court’s intervention in implementing the antipolitical dynasty provision include former Sen. Teofisto Guingona and anticrime advocate Dante Jimenez.