Senatorial bets vow to give anti-dynasty bill a hearing in Congress

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Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Former Senators Ramon Magsaysay Jr.

MANILA, Philippines— Senatorial candidates who participated in the First Inquirer Senate Forum on Wednesday vowed not to oppose an anti-dynasty bill should the measure be considered in the next Congress.

Former Senators Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and Ernesto Maceda expressed a willingness to sponsor a bill that would ban relatives from occupying various government positions at the same time.

Magsaysay said President Benigno Aquino III could certify the bill as urgent, and he would be ready with his draft.

Reelectionist Sen. Francis Escudero, whose congressman father died a few months ago, said he would inhibit himself during committee hearings and plenary debates if only to allay fears that he might help craft a “self-serving” measure.

“But expect me to vote.  There might not be enough senators to do so if there are too many colleagues related to each other and who would then inhibit themselves,” he told reporters at the sidelines of the forum on “How does the Senate really work”  at the University of the Philippines Film Center in Diliman.

Reelectionist Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, however, warned fellow candidates that a discussion of the bill would not be easy.

“Obstacles” abound, he said.  Like, until what degree of relationship or consanguinity should a run for office by a second family member be prohibited? Or which government offices would be covered by the law? Would the bill only prohibit relatives running for elective posts? What about appointive positions? Or even those in the judiciary?

Pimentel, whose sister Gwen lost in the 2010 senatorial election and whose father Aquilino Jr. had three Senate terms in the post-Edsa Congress, said the anti-dynasty bill was among the potential pet measures he studied after he was belatedly sworn in as senator in August 2011.

Article 2 Section 26 of the Constitution prohibits political dynasties. Trouble is, the Charter needs an enabling law for the policy to be observed.

“I ran out of time on this bill,” Pimentel said. “But if I would be lucky enough to get reelected, I would be ready to file a model bill, whether Malacañang certifies it as urgent or not.  The more important thing is to be able to explain to other lawmakers and the people why this measure is necessary.”

As it is, there is doubt whether Congress could come up with an anti-dynasty bill at all.

For example, the so-called “three kings” of the United Nationalist Alliance all have children running for senator—Vice President Jejomar Binay’s daughter Nancy, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s son Jack and former President Joseph Estrada’s son Jose Victor or JV.  JV’s elder brother Jinggoy is on his second term that would expire in 2016.

In the administration’s Team PNoy slate, reelectionist Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano rejoins sister Pia in the chamber if he wins. President Aquino’s cousin, Bam Aquino, and aunt, Tingting Cojuangco, are in the senatorial race.

Magsaysay, who has an in-law also running for senator, recalled that there had been attempts to file an anti-dynasty bill in the past but all never gained traction.

“This means a certification by Malacañang has become necessary.  If the leader has political will to remove political dynasties, maybe we can give him a window period of six years? I don’t know.  But more important right now is to start dealing with the culture that is tended toward dynasties,” he explained.

Magsaysay also suggested that the government subject the anti-dynasty bill to a referendum if only to measure its public acceptability.

Escudero, however, said that an anti-dynasty bill might not be necessary if only voters refused to establish these in their communities.

“With or without a law, if people don’t want a dynasty, they would simply not vote for those who would tend to build one.  If one does not really prefer a politician ruling with his sibling, spouse, child and cousin, the voter has the freedom not to vote for them,” he said in an ambush interview.

“That is the way a voter shows his sentiment on the dynasty issue,” Escudero added.

Maceda said the anti-dynasty bill should limit to only one person per family the occupants of national positions ranging from President, Vice President, senator and congressman.

This limitation should also apply to governors and mayors, he added.

“I don’t think it should go as low as councilor or barangay councilman (kagawad),” said Maceda, who has a son occupying a city council seat in Manila.

Among the forum participants, only Sen. Loren Legarda stood out for her consistency, according to Angela Sebastian, chair of the UP College of Mass Communication Student Council.

“I wanted to hear concrete plans of action, but most of the candidates gave motherhood statements,” said Sebastian, who asked about legislation in the education sector.

“Of them, Senator Legarda was the one who was really firm in her stand and advocacy, and that’s what she incorporated in all her answers,” she added.

Wearing a red shirt that bore the face of his daughter Kristel, Christopher Tejada said he was inspired by Sen. Alan Cayetano, who stressed the need for state universities to be self-sufficient and provide free education to all Filipinos.

“The death of my daughter gave all struggling students and their families a face, so we are pushing for education as a right,” said Tejada. With a report from Lawrence de Guzman, Inquirer Research

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  • joshmale2004

    WHAT ARE THESE SENATE CANDIDATES TALKING ABOUT SUPPORTING THE CREATION OF ANTI DYNASTY BILL IF THEY GET ELECTED? YOU MIGHT THEN AGAIN GET THE IRE OF SENATOR MIRIAM SANTIAGO OF YOUR NONSENSE TALKS. FOR YOUR INFORMATION, SENATOR MIRIAM DEFENSOR ALREADY INTRODUCED THE ANTI DYNASTY BILL 2649 iIN JANUARY 2011 AND ALREADY APPROVED BY THE SENATE ON FINAL READING. THE SENATE IS JUST WAITING FOR A RESOLUTION COMING FROM THEIR COOUNTERPART WHICH IS THE CONGRESS IN ORDER TO ENACT THE LAW FOR A FINAL JOINT READING. HOW STUPID ALL OF THESE CANDIDATES FROM UNA, LP AND INDEPENDENT.

  • jga94

    Wearing a red shirt that bore the face of his daughter Kristel, Christopher Tejada said he was inspired by Sen. Alan Cayetano, who stressed the need for state universities to be self-sufficient and provide free education to all Filipinos.

    “The death of my daughter gave all struggling students and their families a face, so we are pushing for education as a right,” said Tejada.

    “…need for state universities to be self-sufficient and provide free education for all Filipinos…”….I find it hard to fathom how a school can be self-sufficient at the same time provide free education for all….maganda lang pakinggan…

    Education is a right…it’s in the Constitution…but it says free primary and secondary education….hindi pati tertiary….

  • jga94

    Re:political dynasties….perhaps they can start with outlawing political dynasties at the local level….as proposed by Sen Mirriam…that way, wala pa yung opposition na ineexpect….then as the public’s clamor grows….politicians will eventually have to give in….

  • bayankopdi

    DAPAT LANG NA ISULONG NA ANG ANTI-DYNASTY BILL …. EXAMPLE NA LANG SI ERAP..ANG ASAWANG SI LOI NAGING SENATOR, .GUSTONG ISAMA LAHAT ANG ANAK…PATI ANAK SA LABAS ISINAMA, DI PA NA CONTENTO ISINAAMA PATI KABIT…ANO BA YAN…MAMAYA PATI ALAGANG ASO ISASAMA NA RIN …

  • HarryK

    Don’t expect those politicians to mention any word on anti-dynasty after their being elected.

  • Kester Mark Dixon Irving

    12 Senatorial Candidates na Dapat Iboto
    1) Gordon – (Subic, WOW Philippines, Olangapo City, Red Cross) *MUST VOTE
    2) Hagedorn – ( Beautiful Puerto Princesa) *MUST VOTE
    3) Angara – (Clean Record ng Tatay)
    4) Pimentel – (Mas magaling kaysa sa tatay, represents western Mindanao)
    5) Zubiri – (Nature and represents Eastern Mindanao)
    6) Honasan – (A Brave and hardworking Senator)
    7) Poe – (Anak ni FPJ, hindi sisirain ang ngalan ni d King)
    8) Madrigal – Clean Record and Hardworking
    9) Villanueva – faith to God
    10) Magsaysay, Jr. – totoong Magsaysay
    11) Maceda – para sa Blue Ribbon Committee
    12) Escudero – Para kay Heart

    10 Senatorial Candidates na Dapat Iboykot
    1) Bam Aquino – galing sa angkan ng MAKAPILI, Traydor sa gobyerno, nanggagamit pa ng imahe ng patay.
    2) Cojuangco – Leader ng “Kamaganak Inc” mangangamkam ng lupang sakahan
    3) Jack Enrile – Siga siga at mamamatay tao(Alphie Anido), kay dumi ng record ng tatay.
    4) Villar – nagpayaman na si hubby sa senado, nakakaumay na ads sa tv.
    5) Hontiveros – makakaliwa, komunistang nanggugulo
    6) Casino – makakaliwa, komunistang nanggugulo
    7) Binay – Anti-political dynasty (tuta ng tatay)
    8) Ejercito – Anti-political dynasty (magkapatid sa senado)
    9) Cayetano – Anti-political dynasty (magkapatid sa senado)
    10) Legarda – plastic, balimbing

    • superpilipinas

      He-he-he. Puro Trapo naman lahat. Hindi inuuna ang Pilipinas at mga Pinoy. These are a bunch of clowns and mediocres. Kapit tuko na sa posisyon kaya hindi takot matanggal.

      Doon tayo sa mga bagong kandidato. Kung hindi sila umubra, masmadaling palitan.

      As one commenter advised, you don’t have to fill all 12. Vote only for the few that you are sure of. He-he-he. Don’t vote for any of the above listed.

  • $14334231

    chiz, dynasty exists because politicians, both local and national, uses money and threat tactics to be elected….go to your province in sorsogon and see, but you knew that already….everywhere you go, money flows from sitting politicians and they also have the power to manipulate the outcome of every election….so there…..i would rather believe jun magsaysay rather than any of you who are running on this may election…..

  • superpilipinas

    Para maisulong ang anti-Dynasty, dapat huwag natin iboto ang mga nasa posisyon ngayon. May mga myembro ng Dynasty at may mga nasanay na sa Dynasty at ayaw kumilos.. Dapat palitan lahat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rambo.tan.372 Rambo Tan

    Si Escudero naman mapagbiro– look what happened to the Marcosses – Enrile – Estrada – etc. How would you explain the government now? We are just lucky that Aquino is there otherwise-this country is now in ruin. They have ran this country for decades and us- we grew from them and yet we never see the light. Thanks for the opportunity given with out the help of government, Filipino nature is to excel.

    WE DON’T NEED DYNASTY- voters were bought -goons and guns- now it is different- it is not anymore vote buying but they will buy you “not to vote” if you are identified to be in the opponent side. Politician mostly of Dynaty in nature will put ink on your finger so you won’t vote (for a fee). If you insist going to the polling place with mark finger , the watcher of that politician will identify you…… SCARY TACTICS…

    Now, what will happen to those who don’t have that machinery and yet more capable to do the job? Look at Pampanga , Camarines Sur…etc….SANA YONG COMELEC DI BULAG @ si Escudero magbago nang paningin….

  • aristeosj

    all talk.papogi for the election.

    i bet you after the election,these pronouncements will get nowhere…$%£”&^*()

  • Guest

    Malaki ang kinita ni Jinggoy as Senate President Pro Tempore. Bonus palang, pinakamalaki na siya sa Senado.

  • Guest

    Si Alan Cayetano, head ng minority block sa Senado but di naman niya magawang bumatikos sa Aquino administration. Ano kayo yun?

    • Guest

      Baka naman binusalan na ng pera ang bibig ni Alan Cayetano ng mga Arroyo kaya nananahimik na siya.

      • boldyak

        huh!…napasama na naman si Arroyo?…and to think that there is no logic in your idea…

  • hu_yu

    pangako sa iyo…ipaglalaban ko……kanta na lang
    parang yung FOI bill lang eh….before election, nangako na isulong ang FOI bill…ngayung nasa posisyon na, tikom bibig na, di na naaalala kung anu ang FOI bill……asa ka pa

  • Jake Lopez

    It is the electorate who is to blame for these dynasties to thrive. A lot of our voters are too naive, too paternalistic, and the politicians are using the Filipinos over use of Utang na Loob to the max. Magpatayo lang ng basketball court or magpamahagi ng libreng gamot yung mayor sa isang barangay ey habang buhay ng tatanawing utang na loob ng mga mangmang na botante. Di alintana na ang mga ginastos dito ay sa kaban din ng bayan galing. Another thing is name recall. The electorate will vote for any name they usually read, hear, or watch on TV. In Malabon for example, the Oretas have been lording it for decades, but look at Malabon City, it still looks like a third class municipality. Mas maganda pa mga palengke, municipio, at transport terminals sa mga probinsya kesa sa mga palengke ng Malabon.

  • http://twitter.com/AmoresDimple dimple amores

    Di ba dapat gawing poster boy ng dynasty ang magkapatid na cayetano? Sila enrile and jv papasok pa lang, ang mga cayetanio. 6 years na

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