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Anti-political dynasty bill to affect many aspirants in 2016 polls–solon

By: - Reporter / @deejayapINQ
/ 09:18 PM July 28, 2014

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III delivers his 5th State of the Nation Address during the joint session of the 16th Congress at the House of Representatives in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MANILA—Many politicians with presidential ambitions, including Vice President Jejomar Binay, won’t be able to run in 2016 if the anti-political dynasty bill is passed into law in its current version, a lawmaker said Monday.

Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., a third-term congressman who would also be affected by the passage of the bill, made the comment in reaction to House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.’s push for the controversial measure at the opening of the second regular session of the 16th Congress.

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Belmonte told the plenary, hours ahead of the President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address, that it was high time the bill prohibiting the establishment of political dynasties was passed into law.

“Section 26 Article 2 of the 1987 Constitution categorically prohibits political dynasties but no law has been passed to implement this constitutional mandate,” he said.

But for the first time, Belmonte said, “we have House Bill 3587, or the act prohibiting the establishment of political dynasties.”

“It is the first ever to pass through committee deliberations and is now up for plenary discussions,” he said.

The proposed law prohibits the spouse, or any persons related within the second degree of consanguinity to a reelection-seeking politician, to run for a position in the same election, or for anyone to immediately succeed to a position vacated by a family member.

“If we approve the bill as filed in the committee deliberation, even Vice President Binay cannot run for President because [Sen.] Nancy Binay’s term of office would be up to 2019, thus he cannot run for President,” Barzaga said.

Belmonte urged his colleagues to “proceed in earnest to examine the merits of this bill, and lay out the parameters of its application towards effective deterrence to the establishment and perpetration of political dynasties in all levels of government.”

“The crux of this bill shall be how to define ‘what is a political dynasty’,” Belmonte said.

The anti-political dynasty bill advanced to second reading in May after it received sponsorship in the House of Representatives, a chamber long dominated by members of political clans.

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Under the same measure, neither former President Joseph Estrada, now Manila mayor, nor detained Sen. Jinggoy Estrada would be able to run in the next election, “because JV Ejercito would still be senator,” he said.

Barzaga himself would be affected as his wife Jennifer is the incumbent mayor of Dasmariñas City. He would not be able to run for mayor, and his wife wooulkd not be able to run for representative of their district.

The dramatic and sweeping political impact of such a measure has elicited observations that the 290-strong House of Representatives would opt to pass a “watered down” version of the bill if it is to pass second reading.

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TAGS: 2016 Polls, Congress, News, political dynasty bill, Politics
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