Anti-political dynasty bill bound to get watered down—minority leader
MANILA, Philippines – The minority leader in the House of Representatives said the anti-political dynasty bill, though it reached the plenary, is sure to get watered down due to amendments from the floor.
During the minority briefing on Wednesday, San Juan city representative Ronaldo Zamora said he expects a “whole series of questions” on the individual provisions of the bill that seeks to curb the proliferation of political families in the halls of Congress.
Even Zamora finds some provisions difficult to implement, such as the ban on candidates who are related to a re-electionist politicians within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity to run in the same elections.
“Funny that you’re talking not just about relationships, (but also) about elections. How many elections before, during and after will be affected? Maybe that’s not possible,” Zamora said.
“In effect, you’re saying as long as you have relatives, you cannot run before, during and after elections,” he added.
The bill also seeks to ensure that elective posts would not be passed on to a member of the same family. It states that no person within the prohibited civil degree of relationship to the incumbent will be allowed to immediately succeed to the position of the latter.
Zamora said there are other sections that could be “susceptible to amendments” and that there are solons bound to introduce changes.
“Right now, the way the bill is worded, I’m not sure that it can be implemented so easily,” he noted.
The bill reached the plenary for the first time on Tuesday, after it was finally opened for sponsorship since being included in the plenary’s agenda on Jan. 20.
Despite Zamora’s doubts, one of the bill’s authors Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares still lauded the “historic” debut of the bill.
“For the first time in history, the anti-political dynasty bill was read on the floor. That was a historic first. As authors of the bill, we would like that the debate on the bill start,” Colmenares said in the briefing.
Even if the bill gets killed in the House like its predecessors, Colmenares said the filing of the bill was still the “right thing to do.”
“The anti-political dynasty bill is, as we’ve always said is an uphill battle. Whether or not that bill would get the support, as long as it is the right thing to do, then we have to file and fight it out,” he said.
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