Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Anti-Dynasty bill gets Senate panel endorsement, puts 12 lawmakers on notice

The bill prohibiting the establishment of political dynasties in the country has been passed at the committee level in the Senate without any amendment and endorsed for plenary deliberations.

If approved, the Anti-Political Dynasty bill sponsored by Sen. Panfilo Lacson would be applicable in the next elections and all subsequent elections thereafter.

Sen. Francis Escudero, head of the Committee on Revision of Codes and Laws, said he inhibited himself from sponsoring or voting on the bill although he was in favor of the measure “because of conflict of interest.”

Escudero had succeeded his father as representative of the congressional district in Sorsogon, and when he ran for the Senate, the older Escudero ran and got back his old district.

He said that he and his father would be covered by Lacson’s bill so he deemed it best to inhibit himself and ask Lacson to sponsor the measure himself.

He urged all senators and congressmen in a similar conflict of interest on the bill not to participate in the floor deliberation of the bill so that it would not be watered down.

But if all the lawmakers in the Senate affected by Anti-Political Dynasty bill would inhibit themselves, only 11 senators would be left to deliberate and vote on the measure.

Besides Escudero, the 11others covered by the bill are: Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr., Sen. Manuel Villar, Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, Sen. Richard Gordon, Sen. Lito Lapid, Sen. Edgardo Angara, Sen. Pia Cayetano and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

Lacson’s bill prohibits spouses, parent-son and siblings from running to immediately succeed each other. It also prohibits two or more persons who have political dynasty relationship from running simultaneously for an elective office within the same municipality, city, legislative district or province.

If the constituency of the incumbent elective official is national in character, his or her spouse, children and siblings are disqualified from running only within the same province or legislative district where the national official is a registered voter.

The measure requires all candidates to file a sworn statement before the Commission on Elections that he or she does not have a political dynasty relationship with any incumbent public official running for an elective public office in the same municipality/city, legislative district and/or province.

Any person with political dynasty relationship will be immediately disqualified from running.

-- Efren L. Danao with Angelo S. Samonte

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