House bill imposes heavy penalties on ‘political butterflies’
Politicians who jump from one party to another for political expedience will face unprecedented penalties, including removal from office, under a bill that has been approved for plenary consideration by a House committee.
The ways and means panel on Monday approved the tax provisions of a proposed law penalizing “political turncoatism.”
The committee unanimously endorsed the proposed Political Party Development Act, a consolidated version of four similar measures, which seeks to institutionalize reforms in electoral politics and campaign financing, develop the political party system, and promote party loyalty.
Forfeiture of public office
It also raises to P20 the amount a political party and a candidate may lawfully spend for every voter in an election.
Authored by 16 lawmakers led by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Majority Leader Fredenil Castro, the bill was approved by the House suffrage and electoral committee in October last year.
Under the proposal, political turncoats are to be punished with forfeiture of their public office if they switch parties within one year before or after an election, as well as disqualification from running for elective office in the next succeeding election after changing parties.
They shall also be prohibited from holding public office for three years after the expiration of the incumbent administration, and from assuming any executive position in the new party.
Turncoats shall also be compelled to refund “all amounts received” from their old party plus a 25 percent surcharge. —DJ YAP
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.