Binay clan cited in anti-political dynasty bill interpollations
MANILA, Philippines – The Binay political clan was cited as an example of a so-called political dynasty that may be a casualty upon the passage of the long-overdue anti-political dynasty bill.
During the interpollation in the plenary on Monday at the House of Representatives, Cavite Representative Elpidio Barzaga asked Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro about the possibility of Vice President Jejomar Binay running for president even when his daughter Senator Nancy Binay continues to hold office until 2019.
Castro, who chairs the House suffrage and electoral reforms committee, said the measure would not prevent Binay from running for president as the bill did not prevent an official from seeking a position because of family members having an incumbent public position.
The bill prohibits spouses and relatives, up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity of an incumbent official seeking reelection, from running for public office in the same election.
“Notwithstanding the incumbency of Senator Binay, VP Binay may still run because the law could not be given a retroactive effect to the prejudice of someone who is holding office,” said Castro, who endorsed the bill.
“During the time of the approval of the proposed law, the incumbent has a vested right over the position and that right only ceases after the expiration of term,” he added.
He also said that the law did not allow disqualification from running so long as the term of the candidate’s relative has not expired.
“It’s not a disqualification. So long as the term has not expired, and the law should not be given a retroactive effect,” Castro said.
But if ever Binay’s children Makati Rep. Abigail and Makati Mayor Junjun decide to run for office in 2016, they would not be allowed to do so under the bill, Castro said.
Barzaga then cited the case of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, who has expressed his bid to run as president in 2016. He then asked if Cayetano’s brother Taguig Rep. Lino Cayetano may run for reelection at the same year.
Castro said the bill would prohibit it when two related persons run for a position in the same election.
The controversial bill finally reached in May this year the plenary of the House packed with members of political clans.
According to the bill, a political dynasty “exists when two or more individuals who are related within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity hold or run for national or local office in successive, simultaneous or overlapping terms.”
The Commission on Elections is tasked to disqualify from running those who violate the proposed measure.
Should none of the members of the same family running in the same election decide to withdraw from the race, the Comelec will hold a raffle to determine which of them would be allowed to run.
The bill also seeks to ensure that elective posts will not be passed on to a member of the same family. It states that no person within the prohibited civil degree of relationship with the incumbent will be allowed to immediately succeed his/her position.