Kapatiran Party reminds Comelec on pending people’s initiative vs political dynasties
MANILA, Philippines—The Ang Kapatiran Party (AKP) sought action from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday on its petition filed six months ago asking for a prescribed form that would push for a national legislation against political dynasty through a people’s initiative.
The seven-page petition filed in April by the party could be the first step in what Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. described, on Monday, as a “tedious and long process” to effect a people’s initiative against political dynasts.
But officials of the party said that up to now, the Comelec has not approved the form.
“Up to now, we are not clear on whether the law department [of the Comelec] has already endorsed the needed form for the en banc to consider,” said AKP secretary-general Norman Cabrera.
“It’s been six months and counting for a simple, legal petition form mandated by Republic Act 6735 that Comelec should prescribe,” Cabrera told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Monday.
Over the weekend, Brillantes said that in the absence of a law allowing Comelec to prohibit members of political dynasties from seeking government posts in the elections, a people’s initiative would be the “best” and “real” solution to the problem.
“We started doing something [about it] six months ago,” AKP founder Nandy Pacheco told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone.
Pacheco added that he was hoping that the Comelec would not suppress their aspiration and instead abide by the Constitution to help them in curbing the prevalence of political dynasties in the country.
In its petition, the Ang Kapatiran Party stressed the need to enact a national legislation, such as the Anti-Dynasty Act to prohibit political dynasties dominating the country’s political arena.
The national legislation, as proposed by the party, aimed to address the absence of a law implementing the constitutional prohibition on political dynasties “to reduce political inequalities by equitably diffusing political power for the common good.”
“Many political analysts have pointed that such oligarchy is a major cause of all the corruption in the government,” the Ang Kapatiran pointed out in its petition.
“While the public has clamored for Congress to pass an Anti-Dynasty Law and many bills have been introduced in Congress each year since 1987, none of the bills have been enacted into law,” it furthered.
The group also stated in the petition that it needed the necessary approval from the Comelec before mounting a nationwide signature campaign for the initiative.
The party’s petition was operating under RA 6735, otherwise known as the Initiative and Referendum Act.
Article 17 Section 2 of the Constitution provides that “amendments to the Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least 12 percent of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three percent of the registered voters.”
Brillantes said on Monday he would check on the status of AKP’s petition. But he pointed out that whatever actions to be done in 2012 would most probably have an effect in the 2016 elections, not in the upcoming balloting.
“What I am saying is that the anti-dynasty initiative won’t make it for the 2013 elections. But it has to start now in time for the 2016 elections,” said the Comelec chief.