By Leslie Ann Aquino
A poll watchdog group has discouraged voters from electing political dynasty members in the May 13 midterm polls.
Democracy Watch Secretary General Claudette Guevara said political dynasties thrive in the country because people tolerate it.
“Let us stop electing political dynasty members, who will just abuse the power vested in them while quality of social services decrease and Filipinos continuing to suffer,” said Guevara.
“From the reports of the Office of the Ombudsman, corruption is rampant among LGUs and Congress. While they enrich themselves further by abusing the power vested in them, poverty increases, quality of social services decreases, and the people suffers,” she added.
Guevarra appealed to voters to understand the demands of an elected official’s responsibility.
She added that analyzing a candidate’s credibility, competence, and integrity is a responsibility of a voter.
According to Democracy Watch, a study conducted from 2007 to 2016 revealed that political dynasties comprised about 75 percent of the government.
More accurate data show a rise from 75 percent to 78 percent among district representatives; from 70 percent to 81 percent among governors; and from 58 percent to 70 percent among mayors, said the group.
Guevara said while the anti-political dynasty law is stated in the 1987 constitution, it has only been “explicitly” implemented or made into law under the Sanggunian Reform Act of 2016 and the Local Government Code.
The Anti-Political Dynasty bill (and all its different versions) has been passed from Congress to Congress since 1987 and still remains pending, she said.