Clan control of elective posts threat to democracy – legislators
At least three Senators gave their support for the passage of an anti-political dynasty bill, agreeing that democracy is being threatened amid monopoly of elective positions by powerful clans in various parts of the country.
While acknowledging that the “dreams and careers” of individuals should not be curtailed, Senator Grace Poe said the passage of an anti-political dynasty bill would prevent corrupt and devious individuals from abusing their positions.
“Sa iba’t-ibang lugar ng Pilipinas alam ko na hindi mo pwedeng limitahan ang pangarap ng isang tao kung gusto nyang manilbihan sa gobyerno pero meron ding dapat safeguards para ‘di abusuhin,” Poe told reporters.
“Dahil merong ginagawa nang negosyo ang pagtakbo sa gobyerno at hindi dapat ganun, at wala dapat monopolyo kung sino pwedeng tumakbo… Parang nawawala spirit ng demokrasya kasi nalilimitahan sa iilang pamilya at clan ang nagde-desisyon sa ating gobyerno,” she added.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV likewise supported the proposed measure but pointed out the need to strengthen the government’s anti-corruption agencies.
“Kung maigting sana ang ating anti-corruption agencies, regardless of the surname, of blood relations of people elected to office, kailangan managot. Kasi hindi ibig sabihin na wala kang kamag-anak sa pulitika eh malinis ka na. Maraming mga firs- timers, walang kamag-anak pero ganun,” he said.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, meanwhile, said that the passage of the measure would be “difficult” because many lawmakers, including him, would be affected. But he nonetheless expressed support for the anti-political dynasty bill.
“It will be difficult in reality. It will be a challenge because over the years ang dynasties ay lumalaki ng lumalaki dahil walang batas eh,” he said.
“Definitely, maaapektuhan kami. In fact, marami ang maaapektuhan… but we welcome this development because we always believe that in one point in time, may mga bagong mukha na magagaling, mas experienced at we welcome that development. We believe that opportunities should also be given to those who want to serve,” he added.
But Senator Richard Gordon said the anti-political dynasty bill “could not be legislated” because “a qualified person” should not be deprived of his right to run for public office just because he is related to someone who is elected.
Gordon said it is more important to work on making an “enlightened citizenry” to produce informed voters.
“You know I’ve always been, as a matter of rational thinking, mahirap talaga yung political dynasty because ‘yung mga lawyers mga anak nila nagiging lawyers,’ yung sundalo anak nila sundalo, ang point dun na-expose bata eh, why will you deprive a person who is totally qualified just by reason of relation?” Gordon said.
“Ang importante is an enlightened citizenry. An election that provides everybody the knowledge. Kung marunong electorate, hindi mangyayari ‘yan eh, you cannot legislate that,” he added. /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.