Independent candidates eye unity slate to fight political dynastiesBy Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Supporters of the 12 independent and minor party candidates for the Senate in the next month’s elections have begun negotiations to form a single slate that would focus on bringing down political dynasties.
According to several supporters and organizers from the camps of the 12, a manifesto is being circulated among the candidates, aiming to gather them under a “dream team” or umbrella coalition with the primary goal of putting an end to dynastism and traditional politics.
“Who knows, if they band together, we’ll have an ‘Anti-Dynasty Dozen.’ After all, they share a common advocacy against political dynasties. It’s the one thing that unites them. Moreover, they’ll be able to present a complete slate unlike the administration and opposition parties,” said one source.
If the anti-dynasty slate pushes through, it would be composed of Rizalito David, John Carlos “JC” de los Reyes and Marwil Llasos of Ang Kapatiran Party; Greco Belgica, Baldomero Falcone and Christian Seneres of the Democratic Party of the Philippines; Samson Alcantara of the Social Justice Society; Eddie Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas; Teddy Casiño of Makabayan; and independents Edward Hagedorn, Ramon Montaño and Ricardo Penson.
Hagedorn, Villanueva, Penson, Alcantara and Casiño earlier expressed openness for a unity ticket among the minority and independent candidates.
A civil society group, the Mamamayan Ayaw sa Dynasty (MAD), was recently able to gather most of the 12 minority and independent candidates to support the anti-dynasty campaign. Others also joined the Politikalinisan, the “clean politics” movement of activist priest Robert Reyes.
According to another source, the manifesto was crafted by some candidates who gathered in a meeting in Manila last week.
“The manifesto is being circulated for their signatures and feedback. Those who have reservations on the text will notify the others on the concerns to be addressed,” he said.
He added the campaigns of the 12 would like to have a clear definition of a political dynasty. The common definition prohibits an incumbent elective official running at the same time as, or being succeeded by, his relatives up to the civil degree of consanguinity or affinity.
SJS’ definition includes appointed public officials, including those in the judiciary, in the determination of who is a dynast while Penson is content to limit dynasties under his “Isa lang kada angkan” (One per clan only) slogan. Kapatiran’s definition covers candidates who are not related to any incumbent but are related to one other; it has also different rules for national and local candidates who are related.
Two of the 12, De los Reyes and Hagedorn, are regarded as belonging to dynasties because they have relatives running for local or national posts in May. Casiño’s party, meanwhile, endorsed other senatorial candidates who are also regarded as members of political dynasties.
A third source said candidates might share resources to come up with common sorties, political ads, sample ballots and other forms of exposure to the voters.
The anti-dynasty slate will be unveiled in the next few days, according to the sources.