Bishop to voters: Reject political dynasties
MANILA, Philippines — Broderick Pabillo, the newly appointed bishop of Taytay in Palawan province, appealed to the public on Saturday not to support political dynasties in the next elections, as “turfing” of political positions is not good for democracy.
“Hopefully, we voters will be discerning. If we knew that the candidate is a relative, child or spouse of a politician wanting to take charge, don’t vote for that candidate,” said the bishop during an online town hall of church groups affiliated with the opposition coalition 1Sambayan.
Pabillo said political dynasties, which dominated both local and national politics, make it difficult to exact accountability from erring politicians whose successors were part of their families.
The bishop said there were no enabling laws against dynasties despite a constitutional clause that prevents them as many lawmakers in Congress were part of political dynasties.
“Because we still don’t have a law banning political dynasties, they continue to exist and use government resources to campaign for themselves and their families,” the bishop said.
Pabillo added that political dynasties do not promote good governance because they only protect themselves and their cronies instead of public welfare.
He pointed out how many provinces in the Philippines had been ruled by a single family, leading to corruption and abuse of power.
“There are families who have made politics their way to earn a living and are ‘turfing’ their positions. This is not good for our democracy,” Pabillo said.
In the absence of checks and balances in political dynasties, Pabillo said the political climate would not change and improve.
On Friday, presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, herself a part of a political dynasty, said she was now “open” to running for President in the 2022 polls.
The Davao mayor earlier denied that she intended to run for the country’s top post next year, as her father claimed that the presidency was not a job for a woman because of the differences in “emotional setup” between men and women.
She has yet to finalize her decision.
The 1Sambayan, a broad coalition of democratic groups aiming to “usher a competent, trustworthy administration” in the May 22 polls, has yet to field a common candidate for the top political post.
Among the top contenders is Vice President Leni Robredo, but the country’s second-highest leader has not expressed her desire to run next year.
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