Poe likens Philippine politics to a game of ‘Trip to Jerusalem’
Sen. Grace Poe likened Philippine politics to a game of “Trip to Jerusalem” as she pushed on Monday for the passage of the anti-political dynasty bill.
Poe took the Senate floor to co-sponsor the measure, which seeks to prohibit persons from seeking public office if they are related up to the second degree of consaguinity or affinity to an incumbent elected official.
“Mr. President, it is common knowledge that from the largest province to the smallest barangay, there is a political family that has entrenched itself by undergoing a rigodon of public office every few years,” Poe said in her speech.
“Our country has been called an ‘Anarchy of Families.’ Pero sa totoo, I think politics in our country is more like a game of ‘Trip to Jerusalem’ – si mayor ay makikipagpalit kay governor, si board member ay magiging congressman. And in doing so, the circle of available ‘seats’ gets smaller every election cycle,” she added.
But make no mistake, she said, not all political dynasties are bad.
She cited some prominent names in politics – like the Osmeñas, Magsaysays, Rectos, and Sottos – who she said have made significant contributions to the nation.
“These are good names to remember in public service,” Poe said. “Let me state, however, that political dynasties constrict political and economic power in the hands of a few. This is a disservice to a country that is as geographically and culturally diverse as ours.”
According to her, the country has a choice – to stick to the status quo”or take a step forward by immediately passing the measure.
Like Poe, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon believes dynasties by themselves are not “evil.”
“But there are unintended consequences, especially when the fat dynasties prevailed politics,” Drilon said in his speech endorsing the passage of the bill.
During the deliberations of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), the Senate version of the measure proposed for the inclusion of an anti-political dynasty provision in the bill.
The provision was rejected, however, at the bicameral conference committee.
Drilon remained hopeful though that this time he would succeed in pushing for the passage of the bill.
“I did not succeed in including an anti-political dynasty provision in the BOL. This time, I hope to succeed,” he said.
Backed by 13 senators, the measure was finally endorsed last week for plenary approval by Sen. Francis Pangilinan, chair of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments. /atm
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