Signature drive against dynasties goes to De OroBy Cai Panlilio
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—A signature campaign against political dynasties, which was launched two weeks ago in Manila, kicked off here on Sunday.
Members of the Movement Against Dynasties (MAD) converged at the Saint Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral, Nazareno Church and Our Lady of Fatima Parish Church to ask churchgoers to sign the petition proposing to enact an enabling law that will make the Charter provision against political dynasties operational.
Section 26 of the Constitution states that “the state shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.”
But over the past 26 years, Congress has not acted on the proposed enabling law because 70 percent of legislators belong to political dynasties, said Danilo Olivares, MAD cochair.
Neither the Supreme Court nor the Commission on Elections (Comelec) can be expected to act on petitions to prohibit dynastic candidates from running for the “simple and convenient” reason that the Constitution does not provide an enabling law, Olivares said.
He, however, said MAD was resorting to Republic Act
No. 6735, or the Initiative and Referendum Act, which provides the people to exercise the power of people’s initiative or referendum by getting at least 10 percent of registered voters.
This will force the Comelec to call for a referendum to enact and pass the enabling law, he said.
Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of the Diocese of Cagayan de Oro said he would seek support for the MAD signature campaign from his Muslim counterpart in the Inter-Faith organization.
MAD has also urged President Aquino to honor the 1987 Constitution that was ratified during the term of his mother. The President, Olivares said, may be violating this very Charter, noting that the Cojuangco-Aquino is a very big political dynasty.
There should only be one official per family up to the second degree by affinity or consanguinity, the group said.
In Cagayan de Oro, the Emano family has been known to rule the city, as well as the province for more than three decades. Vicente Emano is the incumbent mayor, while his son, Yevgeny, holds the congressional seat of Misamis Oriental’s second district. His daughter Nadia and her husband, President Elipe, are members of the city council.
All four are running for reelection in May.