SC pressed for ruling on Charter’s anti-dynasty provision

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Former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr. AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Pushing their cause against political dynasties, a group led by former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr. has filed a motion asking to the Supreme Court to review its position that it could not compel Congress to enact an anti-dynasty law.

In their 27-page motion filed Feb. 22,  Guingona, along with Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption founding chairman Dante Jimenez, lawyers Leonardo de Vera, Eduardo Bringas and Vicente Velasquez, and Raymundo Jarque, clarified that they were not asking the Court to usurp the powers of Congress to make laws.

“[We] simply pray for a determination of whether Congress by inaction for the past 25 years has violated the Constitution and its duty as the representative of the people when it chose to downplay and disregard the importance of the anti-political dynasty policy despite the provision in Article XIII, Section 1 of the Constitution, mandating it to give highest priority to enact measures of this nature,” the petitioners said.

The court early this month dismissed the Guigona group’s petition, along with that of senatorial candidate Ricardo Penson, citing the principle of separation of powers and the doctrine of political question. The justices also said that the anti-dynasty provision in the Constitution was not self-executory and needed an enabling law.

However, the Guingona and his fellow petitioners insisted that the Constitution already has forbidden political dynasties and Congress only has  to define what a political dynasty is.

“Congress does not have, Congress was not granted, Congress was not given the option, Congress was not given the discreton not to pass a law prohibiting political dynasty,” they said.

Instead of invoking the principle of separation of powers in refusing to compel Congress to pass an anti-dynasty law, the group said the justices could use the same principle to declare that the legislature has committed grave abuse of discretion.

“The act of the majority members of Congress in not passing the law is based on their personal bias as they themselves are part of the political dynasties. Clearly, there is grave abuse of discretion on their part,” they said.

And when grave abuse of discretion is committed by the Legislative or Executive branches, the court “should not use the doctrine of political question as shield, to the detriment of the Filipino people from where all the branches of government derived their power in the first place,” they added.

If the court does find that there was indeed grave abuse of discretion,  “there should be a commensurate move to give effect to its pronouncement and this move is to require Congress to follow the Constitution,” the petitioners said.

“This is not an encroachment or usurpation per se but rather the enforcement of the will of the People as mandated by the Constitution! This is true democracy!” they added.

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  • pilosopo4

    Let us hope the justices will be enlightened and make the right interpretation of the constitution and what was the real intent of the provision…barring that, we will have to endure more of the Enriles, Estradas, Binays, Cayetanos, and more families switching among themselves in the municipal and provincial levels.

  • Cubano

    HUWAG IBOTO ANG MGA KASAMA NG MGA POLITICAL DYNASTIES.

  • JasonBieber

    Not to offend anyone…but maybe stop wasting your time in pushing for the anti-dynasty thing…it ain’t gonna stop. The country is being run by political dynasties including the President. So no one will go against the powerful in the country and try to end it.

    But we do commend the perseverance in still pushing for this.

  • magiting78

    Don’t Vote belongs to Dynasties, don’t vote to those impresson by Marcos….Don’t Vote trapos like Enrile, Honasan, Binay and Estrada…Ibalik ang Martial Law, lipulin mga dinastiya n nag papahirap sa mamayan…lipulin mga haciendero, ipamhagi s mamayan at pamahalaan ang mga lupaing kinamkam ng mga elitistang negosyante…Ibalik sa pamahalaan ang mga kinamkam ng mga Lopezes n negosyo, Ibalik s gobyerno ang PLDT, Meralco, PNB at Petron….
         Pero sino mag dedeclare ng Martial Law….packsheet wala n pala c Macoy…..Meron pa kayang mabubuhay n Ferdinand Marcos(sori hnd pwd Bongbong) at Benigno Aquino (sori hnd Junior wala silbi)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3TWVIBNBHJIBKXLUC5IT2JYM5E Harry

    One thing admirable is that dynasties do not and cannot exist in our Judiciary Branch of government. Surely, the Justices know what a dynasty is and they should define it to the legislators so they do not have to look it up in the dictionary. 

  • Pogi=”No To Political Dynasty”

    Good Luck! If nothing will happen Original People Power is the last resort. Annihilate all the Political Dynasty who’s in power.

  • disqusted0fu

    Pnoy will just trash that anti dynasty bill in the same manner that he trashed the FOI bill. Pnoy only approves of laws that will benefit him and his administration, or laws that he could use to harass his political opponents.

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