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High court dismisses bid to ban political dynasties

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The Constitution’s provision against political dynasties is not self-executing and must have an enabling law passed by Congress to back it up, according to the Supreme Court.

The high tribunal reiterated this requirement as it denied with finality the petition of businessman Louis Biraogo to compel the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to ban members of political dynasties from running in the May elections.

“[I]t is evident from the plain wording of the provision against political dynasties, particularly Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Constitution, which reads: ‘the State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be provided by law,’ that it is not self-executing but is simply a statement of a general principle which further requires a law passed by Congress to define and give effect thereto,” the high court en banc ruled.

The court threw out Biraogo’s main petition on Nov. 13, 2012, but the latter filed a motion for reconsideration, which was dismissed on Jan. 8. The Jan. 8 decision was released by the Supreme Court public information office only last Friday.

In his motion for reconsideration, Biraogo argued that the Supreme Court “is not devoid of power to provide a remedy where Congress deliberately fails to enact legislation explicitly guaranteed by the Constitution.”

Biraogo cited the 1997 case of Manila Prince Hotel v Government Service Insurance System wherein the high court upheld the bid of a Filipino corporation against that of a foreign corporation in the acquisition of shares in the firm that owned the hotel.

In that case, Biraogo said, the Supreme Court cited Section 10, Article XII of the Constitution which states that “in the grant of rights, privileges and concessions covering national economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos.”

However, the court said Biraogo’s act of citing the Manila Prince Hotel case was “misplaced,” adding that Section 10, Article XII, also known as the “Filipino First Policy” was self-executory.

“[Section 10, Article XII] is a mandatory, positive command which is complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws for its enforcement, and that, from its very words, does not require any legislation to put it in operation,” the justices ruled.

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 dominated the country’s political landscape, adding that the current batch of candidates 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.


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Tags: Commission on Elections , Louis Biraogo , Political Dynasties , Supreme Court


  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    O ayan! umaasa pa kayo na magbabago pa ang pilipinas mga naive! demokrasya sa papel at papogi lang!

    • http://www.facebook.com/danilo.navarro.946 Danilo Navarro

      hinde nga mawawala ang political dynasty kung ganyan pananaw ninyo gawin ninyo ang inyong karapatatan sa araw ng eleksiyon

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    So what the donkeys are doing in Congress.  It will never get passed because most member of congress and senate are Political Dynasties and still creating Political Dynasties.

    The best thing is burn down congress and senate with all the donkeys inside.

  • http://www.facebook.com/danilo.navarro.946 Danilo Navarro

    wala namang nag babawal sa bawat mamayan ng pilipinas na kumandidato walang magagawa kahit supreme court diyan kung gustong mawala ang political dynasty nasa mamamayan ng pilipinas o yung tinatawag na mga botante ang makagagawa niyan hinde ang supreme court o ang nag pepetition..

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4C2SFYIH52Y2KR7QPZPHJO2XQQ sl1

      Tama ka ngunit they have so must influence at their own discretion kaya kahit na ayaw mong bomoto sa kanila ay mapipilitan ang mamamayan dahil gumagawa sila ng paraan para manatili sa puwesto. Kaya dapat bawal ang political dynasty dahil kung puro mag-kakamaganak ang naka upo sa puwesto siguradong more and more graft and corruption
      ang mangyayari dahil itatago na lang nila ito sa isat-isa dahil wala ng check & balance sa gov’t. The supreme court could have made the right decision on this to correct the political scenario in the country by just saying ” since there is no enabling law on this matter political dynasty is prohibited with no exceptions until enabling law is passed by congress”.
      But what they did is to put the welfare of the nation behind in favor of the politicians…it was indeed very sad day for us Filipinos to know that our supreme court has become the instrument for the advancement of political dynasty in this country!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4R3GZTGML26TV2VGS6RVHP2THM Fred

    Wag nalang iboto ang political dynasty na walang ginawa para sa bayan ngayong 2013 at sa darating na 2016.

  • Rovingmoron

    It’s not a problem at all. If the lawmakers won’t badge in to craft an enabling law that would ban political dynasties, wait until a military junta will take over to create an enabling law. Then, the government can dissolve the junta and back to normal government operations.

  • Fulpol

    the Supreme Court just interpret the constitution…

  • AlexanderAmproz

    Only a blood bath revolution will open the dynasties eyes for ever !

    • buttones

      It’s certainly true history reveals many a dynastical rule that came apart on the edge of a blade, or a shot from a gun, all bloody, the last one was in North Africa, but we Pilipino really don’t do revolution that well do we, it’s either too wet, too hot, and if snacks are not going to be supplied, nor a nice new T-shirt either we simply won’t turn up- and even if we did we would all be tardy anyway….”I TOLD you the revolution started at 8am and now it’s 11am! Where you BEEN man!……”

  • http://inquirer.net unokritiko

    if BAM aquino, Estrada, and Angara win in this coming election, then this dynasty remains
    strong to this filipino indiots!!!

    • etomacq

      Isama mo na ang mga Enrile, Binay at Cayetano. Garapalan na. 

      Mga Pilipinong botante ang dahilan kung bakit hindi umaasenso ang bansa natin.

      Panahon na dapat baguhin natin ang sitemang pulitikal sa ating bansa para na rin sating kapakanan at ng ating bansa.

      • gmaisthebestpresident

        Kung mga “taxpayers” lang sana ang pwedeng bumoto eh hindi mananalo yang mga yan.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3UAABFPUE5ZKBXOAGLWL6POGWU joel genese

        Yan ang masaklap. Palibhasa walang mawawala sa kanila kung sino man ang mananalo.

  • kismaytami

    Hopeless Philippines.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4C2SFYIH52Y2KR7QPZPHJO2XQQ sl1

    The supreme court could have made the right decision on this to correct the political scenario in the country by just saying ” since there is no enabling law on this matter political dynasty is prohibited with no exceptions until enabling law is passed by congress”.
    But what they did is to put the welfare of the nation behind in favor of the politicians…it was indeed very sad day for us Filipinos to know that our supreme court has become the instrument for the advancement of political dynasty in this country!

  • etomacq

    Sa palagay ba natin gagawa ng batas ang Congress at Senado ng anti-dynasty law? ha ha ha! Walang pinag kaiba sa FOI BIll yan. Kontra yan sa sarili nilang interes. Ang mga batas na yan ang kontra sa lalong pagyaman nila! Magaling lang ang mga yan sa pag gawa ng batas na hindi sila masasagasaan. Common sense na lang.

    Kasalanan na rin ng mga Pilipinong botante yan. Madali silang mauto ng mga pulitko.

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    Huwag iboto ang magkamag-anak sa politika.  Down with Political Dynasties.

  • akramgolteb

    Tibatiba na naman ang mga justices sa SC. Malaki ang nakuha nilang tongpats sa mga politiko para ibasura ang kaso laban dynasty.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GYYFBINDMTZHM6TDHPB667452M agustin

    We have to change the constitution, our constitution is incomplete and antiquated. for the meantime we should not vote for the LP and UNA because they composed of TRAPOS and DYNASTIES. they are the corrupt ones. vote for the non partisan senatorial candidates !

    • popeyee

      meron kaya?

  • billy gunner

     “The Constitution’s provision against political dynasties is not
    self-executing and must have an enabling law passed by Congress to back
    it up, according to the Supreme Court”

    The problem is, congress won’t enact a law which counters their interest.

  • manong_edwin

    If that is the ruling of the SC – and I think the SC is really right – then what remains is for us to appeal, plead, pressure or whatever the Congress to enact an enabling law banning political dynasties.  However, we may be just appealing for the moon considering that families and relatives are members of Congress.  Hindi nga maipasa-pasa ang FOI Bill, ang anti-political dynasty bill pa kaya!  Divorce bill baka pa!

    • UPnnGrd

       Just make the appeal to Persidente Noynoy!!  PersiDente Noynoy says he just does what The Boss says, ‘di ba?

  • Simon Ward

    For me, this SC ruling was totally predictable, and sort of a waste of their time. If I were to petition the SC, it would be along the lines of: Congress is required to pass a law within [fixed time frame] that requires that any enabling law that is required for any other law to be put into effect, must be passed by Congress within [fixed time frame].

    Gulp! Is that clear? It basically means that for any existing law still awaiting an enabling law, or any future law that will require one, Congress has a time limit within which said enabling law must be passed.

    No need to mention dynasties at this stage.

    • buttones

      I agree Simon, it was a complete waste of time, we only have to read what is said in our Constitution. I read people are gathering a million signatures to have some sort of plebiscite on this issue, another waste of time, I don’t believe these are binding on government anyway, they can gather 10 million, what has to, and WILL be protected is the status quo… It has always been so…..

  • graciano82

    As ever it’s enabling law that implements the provisions in the Constitution without it’s like a white elephant or a gun without a bullet. So Congress has the ball in their hands to enact the enabling law or the IRR so that the constitutional provision of political dynasty be implemented. It’s their job as mandated by their position and going further it’s the expected response to the people’s clamor who installed them. 

    But reality unfolds that the rub is always present to hinder the passage of such enabling law since many TRAPOS in both houses of congress won’t budge an inch to open the gate. Meaning, the bad legislators practicing and favoring political dynasty overwhelm the good ones, so a passage is always killed from behind in a treacherous way.

    A million signature gathering for a referendum as I read is now in process and praying that it be completed for it’s the last recourse to the solution 

  • MarcyPulilan

    Let the Filipino poeple decide in fanality about political dynasties. Simple, just do not vote you think is part of a dynasty whether they are perceived to be good or not, have you seen a politician asking for your vote that turned out to be for the people? Name me one? Lalong huwag iboto kung kamag anak sila ng mga dynasty.

    • popeyee

      matagal ng “kasabihan” ang let the Filipino decide, pero walang nangyayari. Sa dami o majority ng mga botante ay misinformed o nadadala sa bigay na mga de lata, noodles at bigas tuwing campaign period, mga magkakaanak pa rin ang naiboboto…

      • magiting78

        Ano ang kulang?????? Education…mga local politicians ayaw nilang edevelop lugar nila para manatiling mahihirap ang mamayan nangsaganun wala silang access s mga media at education….Dahil kung matuturuan ang mamayan makakapag isip cla ng tama at makakapili cla..

      • popeyee

        Kung mapapansin mo, lahat ng trapo ay “mahal na mahal ang mga mahihirap”, meron pa nga para daw siya sa mahirap, kaya ayaw nila silang paahunin sa hirap otherwise wala na silang mauuto at di na sila mananalo pa sa mga susunod na elections.

      • MarcyPulilan

        Tama kayong lahat, ayaw payamanin ng mga Politiko lalu na ang mga dynasties dahil kung yumaman ang mahirap, may kalaban na sila ng kanilang dynasty. Kung mahirap nga  naman ang botante, kayang kaya silang bilihin ng pera lalu na kung kumakalam and mg tiyan nila.

  • $15469930

    It is all up to the voters once voters learnt what’s going on then there’ll be changes in political maturity. For as long as they won’t cheat.

  • http://www.yellowmythbusters.gov.ph/ Weder-Weder Lang

    Political Dynasties are in cahoots with the oligarchs. Sometimes, they’re one and the same. Why would they give up power?

    The Supreme Court is beholden to them. 

    • UPnnGrd

      But Pinas voters keep choosing dynasties.   Latest example is when 57% of Pinoys-voters chose the best of Pilipinas presidents — PersiDente Noynoy.  Let us not forget that the best President of Pilipinas himself belongs to a Political Dynasty.

      Hindi ba naman talaga na Pilipinas really is served well when the Pilipinas President is a child of a former president?   Ganu’un iyon!!!

      • AlexanderAmproz

        Be lucky the exception isn’t the rule.

        His Father was honest and decent and paid the price for it, but still Dynasty !

        No doubts the Cojuangco’s are the worst of all competing with Enrile, Consunji and Licio Tan.

        What was the choice at the election time ?

        Pinoys should be lucky he won by a hazardous circumstances of his mother death. He is Honest, Decent and cautious, major qualities comparing with all other rubbish colonial President’s

    • buttones

      I don’t think the SC has anything to do with this- they don’t make Laws anyway- it is Congress who, under the terms of our Constitution can change this, will they pass a Law that eliminates their very existence? I don’t think so!
      I mean just imagine it, some Congressman stands up and says “Honorable members of the House, I have a Bill here that’s gonna but most of us and our families out of a job- who’s for passing this one?” Duh!… No, dynasties are alive and well in PH and always will be…..

  • etomacq

    It is very clear that Malacanang, Senate and Congress are against abolishing the PORK BARRELS, the FOI Bill and the Anti-Political Dynasty… 

    Utang ng Pilipinas ngayon P5.78 trillion na at mangungutang na naman ng $1B.. Ang kaban ng bayan napupunta lang sa mga tiwaling opisyal at magkakamag anak sa gobyerno.

    Pork barrel ang gatasan ng mga korakot na opisyal.

    FOI Bill at Anti-Dynasty Bill tinik sa lalamunan ng mga korakot.

    • AlexanderAmproz

      Should consider P-Noy is sitting on a Powder barrel,

      his maneuvers margins are as thin as a condom !

    • buttones

      Well, the abolition of PORK is simply NOT going to happen, it is for all Congressmen, with no exceptions, their raison d’être, it is their life blood, it is why they spend millions on getting a job that pays a pittance anyway, this money can never be returned just by having a salary and legitimate expenses- they say they run after this job to ‘serve the people’- well there has been no evidence of this servitude over the last 67 years that I can see that has benefited anybody other than the ’Porkee’. The Pork will stay.

      On Ant-dynasties, the only people to change this are Congress, Congress essentially is made up of the dynastical crowd, they will NOT pass a Law that deprives them of their very existence. Pork and Dynasties go together like champagne and caviar [literally] Dynasty in here to stay.

      On FOI, it might happen, depends what they decide the plebian lot is allowed to see, it won’t be much…..

  • buttones

    In my opinion the SC is correct in their decision, the Article in the Constitution is concise and is in no way ambiguous. It was penned in such a way that a non dynastical clause was in the Constitution and it was up to Congress, most of whom are of dynastical stock anyway, to pass a Law to ban themselves on our behalf.
    Will this happen? Certainly not, Congressmen are many things but they are not suicidal maniacs, not only that the Law would be unworkable, all the provinces are run by people who are related directly to one another and to many a mayor as well- we all know of towns where a member of the family takes their turn on a regular basis, it’s mummy’s turn this time, then daddy’s, then little DingBat the son, then Ms ’Cutie pie’ the half baked daughter, and so on and so on ad infinitum. .and given the penchant these people have for breeding on a vast scale there is an inexhaustible supply of relatives.
    Of course we should never give up hope that absolute, God given dynastical rule be destroyed- it would be a fine day indeed , let’s hope in coincides with the day a woman is installed as Bishop of Manila….the odds for both these events happening is about the same…zero…

    • AlexanderAmproz

      Keep hope, half of the Priests are women in Switzerland, 
      no other choices, there is no more male Priest supply.

      What an irony !

    • Aturni

      Yan ang batas ni Saint Cory….

  • manual47

    Then the Philippine government will always be considered corrupt which has always been until now.  Poor filipinos…..they have been screwed for so long.   Let there be end for this mockery of justice…

    • AlexanderAmproz

      Thanks OFW and Internet, informations are more and more out of control.
      Bishops and fake text books will not do the trick and last for long any more.

      Evolution can’t be stop the same way it was done the last 450 Years.

      One day Pilipino’s will wake up, meanwhile Starvations, Shabu, Death squad AFP and PNP are entertaining terror. 

      Elites Leonardo Co style are systematically rubout…

      What a pity !

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_U62PHGMKO4RK7BLMC4ACA4EG5A EREC

    Salamat kay Mr. Biraogo dahil nalinawan ang mamayan sa stand ng SC tungkol sa politikal dynasties sa ating bansa sa sinasaad ng constitution. Ngayon malinaw pa sa sikat ng araw na matagal nang nanahimik ang ating mga mambabatas para gumawa ng PANUNTUNANG BATAS para suportahan ang napakagandang probisyon against political dynasties sa Pilipinas. Sana sa mga susunod na elected na mambabatas magkaruon na ng malinaw na panuntunan sa usaping ito. SALAMAT SA PAGMAMALASAKIT MO MR. BIRAOGO, MABUHAY KA….

  • vilmavee

    With this ruling of the Supreme Court, let us all brace ourselves.  We can only expect political dynasties to flourish, unless, we all decide to elect candidates with no relation to any of the present politicians.  Then and only then can we bring the message to these “kapalmuks” that we are all tired and sick of them all.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4CFT7TRAW6O4RCQNZJR3OOKPN4 Cricket

    What the SC cannot decide on, WE can on election day! RESIST the urge to vote for anyone (no matter how strong a candidate they are) if their family has been treating politics as a CAREER. In the days of old, people had regular jobs then they would take time off to serve their country in whatever capacity.  Ngayon, it’s like a professional path!  After the cleanup, let’s see how fast  those pending bills are passed.

    • vilmavee

      Approve ako dyn.  Sana lahat ng bloggers dito ganyan din ang gawin.

      Let us all be united in making a big change come election time.  No to political dynasties.  Let this be the battle cry of every Filipino.  How do we get the ball rolling?  Any suggestion?  Fellow Bloggers, I know, we can do it!!!!!!!

      • Aturni

        i-BOYCOTT ang ELECTION….

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GYYFBINDMTZHM6TDHPB667452M agustin

         everyday each and everyone must post here in bold letter : DO NOT VOTE FOR TRAPOS AND DYNASTIES.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/4CFT7TRAW6O4RCQNZJR3OOKPN4 Cricket

        totally with you on this, vilmavee!  on the lookot now for more formal channels for this aspiration.  i am sure there are lots of us who want this.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZFWPZUWOAQS4VY4GVRGDULNBYY Bebang

        meron sa facebook na grupo, NO TO POLITICAL DYNASTIES. adhikain nila 1 lang kada angkan kasi di daw family buiness ang politka, ahahaha!

  • Your_King

    When the country is ruled and controlled by political dynasties i think it would be difficult for the high court to rule against them. I do agree with those that state that public service has become less a service for the public and more a service to themselves. Being elected is more of a business venture than anything else. And political dynasties have made it a family business.

  • chingnarciso

    Kung ayaw na pansinin  ang Supreme  Court ang political dynasty,kayong mga voters ang mag decide sa election, kung gusto pa ninyo ang mga dynasties na ma elect sa susunod na halalan.huwag na ninyong hintayin na ang congresso ang mag decide. [dahil hindi nila pansinin yan] your vote as a voter ang mas importante..

  • bagombong

    You are right, you can’t get the supreme court favored the ordinary people in this kind of case…sila din kasi most of there relatives are in gov’t. positions or they might have a lot of friends in politics…we all know that politics is less in public servant but it’s a business matter where 95% of them become millionaires once they left off…if not they use that money in staying more in positions then start creating a dynasty where most are relatives or friends, supreme court knows this but as we all know they part of it…if you notice this politicians every time they make a project , their name always appeared in that projects..para bang galing sa bulsa nila ang gagamitin sa project….it’s peoples tax money but the problem is , a 10% of that project goes to the politician in that area, the reason why I know all this is bec. our firm are involved  some gov’t. projects , like roads , bldgs. , di kami makakakolekta ng pera kung di ka maglalagay sa lahat ng taong dadaanan yun check namin, kung kokolekta kami for P100,000.00 ang mababawasan dyan at P10,000.00, aside sa 10% na clear money para sa politiko, minsan nabuwibuwisit yun runner namin dahil sa dami ng lalagyan. Kaya huwag niyong sisihin yun mga contractor  kung minsan iniiwan nila yun kalsada na di naayos ng husto dahil laki ang nawawala na kanila…totoong lumaban sila sa bidding at nanalo, pero after that meron kang obligasyon para sa mga politiko, hindi mo naman puwedeng taasan ang presyo dahil they know the actual price but it’s all up to you now how to lessen your expenses dahil it the contractor “obligations” to give to the politicians…that is one reason why running in gov’t. positions is a bloody one bec. once they are in…you left in gov’t. you are already a millionaire.

  • bogli_anakdami

    syempre naman… da korte suprema de abugagos eh nasa payroll ng traposakals…



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