July 25, 2024

The 1987 Constitution expressly bans dynasties or the passing of political power to another like a family heirloom.
In the provinces, “hereditary succession” is widely practiced.
Hopefully Baguio City will continue to practice its stand not to follow this practice.
Dynastic families cling to post for their own selfish agenda – power, commissions, perks, “AIDS” (acquired income delivered secretly or now by G-cash or ATM) thus the greedy desire to pass on to another relative after finishing their term.
The problem with the Constitution is that the ban on dynasties needs an enabling law to implement. If the proposed constitutional convention comes (and it will), it will be hard to resist not to be a member of the historic body and amend, among others, that provision to make it self-enabling. Unpopular and tough, but hey, that’s my first name dude.
Anyway, the late Sen. Miriam Santiago had the balls and filed Senate Bill 2649, which sought to prohibit political dynasties in the Philippines. Her bill disqualifies candidates up to the second degree of consanguinity to participate in the elections, and side by side with Senate Bill 11688 will prohibit the spouse, or any person related within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity to an incumbent elective official seeking re-election from holding or running for any elective office in the same province in the same election.
If the incumbent elective official is holding a national post, the aforementioned relatives shall be disqualified from running only within the same province where the former is registered voter.
If none of the candidates are related to an incumbent elective official but are related to one another within the said prohibited degree, they and their spouses, shall be disqualified from holding or running for any local elective office within the same province in the same election. In all cases, no person within the prohibited civil degree of relationship to the incumbent official shall immediately succeed to the position of the latter.
At present, the closest legislation we have is Republic Act 10742 or the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015. Section 10 enumerates the qualifications of an official of the SK which that, “must not be related within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to any incumbent elected national official or to any elected regional, provincial, city or municipal, or barangay official in the locality where he or she seeks to be elected.”
This means the grandchild of a sitting public official cannot seek an elective post in the October polls for SK.
Traditional politicians say, we let our wife or children or grandchildren to run because of the clamor of the people. My foot!
Constitutionalist Fr. Joaquin Bernas who was also a member of the constitutional commission that drafted the 1987 Charter says “The argument that the electorate should be left free to decide whom to choose is not without validity. Partly for that reason, the meaning of political dynasties has been left for Congress to define.
But since Congress is the principal playground of political dynasties, the realization of the dream that the provision on political dynasties would widen access to political opportunities will very probably be exhaustingly long in coming.”
Don’t you worry apo padi. There is still a breed of leaders who has a conscience and principled, with or without an enabling law. In the end, it’s not a law but how people vote that will end a dynasty. Sana all. Sigh.