Lady solon joins clamor to ban political dynasties

A LADY solon has joined the public clamor to prohibit political dynasties, broaden public political participation and strengthen the country’s political system.

Rep. Mary Mitzi Cajayon (2nd District, Caloocan) said more than two decades after the unanimous ratification of the 1987 Constitution; Congress has yet to pass an enabling law that would define political dynasties and ultimately give force and effect to the principle and policy that was enshrined in the Constitution.

She cited Article II, Section 26 of the Constitution that declares, as a matter of principle and policy that “The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.”

“Said constitutional imperative is significant as the perpetuation of political dynasties can undermine the quality of democracy and economic development. This grotesque political phenomenon in the country has in fact engendered inequality which tends to further the vicious cycle of poverty of our people,” said Cajayon.

Cajayon, chairperson of the House Committee on Globalization and WTO, said many scholars believe the political dynasties can lead to extreme personalism in the exercise of power that may undermine the existence of a strong state and the implementation of wide ranging public policies that are beneficial to all people.

Cajayon’s House Bill 6660 or the proposed “Anti-Dynasty Act” defines political dynasty as the concentration, consolidation or perpetuation of public office and political power by persons related to one another.

The bill provides “no spouse or person related within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity whether legitimate or illegitimate, to an incumbent elective official shall be allowed to hold or run for any elective office in the same province in the same election.

In case the incumbent elective official is the President of the Philippines, or the Vice President, the abovementioned persons shall be disqualified from running in any elective public office, based on the bill.

In case the incumbent elective official is a Senator, Member of the House of Representatives or local elective official, the bill provides the abovementioned persons shall be disqualified from running in any national elective public office and any local elective public office within the same province where the former is a registered voter.

In case of party-list system, the abovementioned persons shall be prohibited to become a nominee of any party-list organization.

In cases where none of the candidates are related to an incumbent elective official within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity, but are related to one another within the said prohibited degree, they, including their spouses shall be disqualified from holding or running simultaneously for any national elective public office or local elective public office within the same province in the same election.

In all cases, no person within the prohibited civil degree of relationship to the incumbent shall simultaneously serve with or immediately succeed to the position of the latter. Provided, however, that this shall not apply to Punong Barangays or members of the Sangguniang Barangay.

The measure also provides the Commission on Elections shall motu proprio or upon a verified petition of any interested party deny due course to any certificate of candidacy filed in violation of the Act.

Any citizen of voting age, candidate or duly-registered political party, organization, or coalition of political parties may file with the Comelec, after the last day for filing of COCs and before proclamation, a petition to disqualify a candidate on grounds provided for of the proposed Act. The petition shall be heard and decided summarily by the Comelec, after due notice and hearing, and its decision shall be executed after the lapse of five days from receipt thereof by the losing party.

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