Nancy Binay opposes anti-dynasty bill
MANILA—Sen. Nancy Binay has expressed reservations about a legislative measure seeking to enforce the constitutional provision against political dynasties, saying it would “deprive the people of choices.”
Some of her colleagues are backing the approval of the anti-dynasty bill that President Aquino on Thursday promised to sign once it comes out of Congress. Senate President Franklin Drilon vowed passage of the measure.
Versions of the measure are being tackled in both chambers of Congress.
Binay, one of four members of the Binay family currently holding public office, said that approval of the measure by Congress would narrow down the electorate’s choice of candidates. Her mother once held the reins in Makati, whose mayorship has been with the Binays since 1986.
“Why deprive the people of choices? If that is passed, it’s automatic one candidate is disqualified from running. That trims down the choices of the electorate,’’ she said in an earlier interview.
There are four Binays in government: Vice President Jejomar Binay, the senator, Makati City Mayor Jejomar “Junjun’’ Binay and Makati Rep. Abigail Binay. The vice president’s wife, Elenita, once held the reins in Makati, whose mayorship has been with the Binays since 1986.
In November 2012, the vice president was reported as having dismissed the anti-dynasty proposals as the handiwork of “perennial losers.’’
Senator Binay stressed that an individual’s fitness for public office should be determined by the ballot in a fair election.
“The No. 1 criterion is a clean and honest election. So at the end of the day, it’s the people who will vote. It’s not a guarantee that if you have the same last name, it will automatically get you elected,’’ she said.
Electoral victory, by virtue of one’s family name, isn’t handed down “from generation to generation,’’ she added. “It has to go through a process.’’
That’s why, the senator acknowledged that it’s tougher to get elected to office than passing the bar, or medical board examinations.
“No matter how hard you prepare, how many master’s, doctoral degrees you earn, if the people don’t want you, you won’t get that position. So it’s more difficult,’’ she said.
The eldest child of the vice president was a last-minute replacement in the opposition’s senatorial slate in the May 2013 elections. And partly due to name recall, she ended up fifth with over 5.7 million votes.
The President, in a taped interview with Bombo Radyo on Thursday, said he was ready to sign the measure into law if passed by Congress.
In earlier interviews, Senators Juan Edgardo Angara and Paolo Benigno Aquino IV expressed support for the bill. Given the sensitivity of the matter, Sen. Francis Escudero said he would skip the debates, but vote for it on the floor.
Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito, son of former President Joseph Estrada, who is now mayor of Manila, and San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez, and Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago filed separate bills prohibiting the establishment of political dynasties.
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