Pangilinan: Certify Anti-political dynasty bill as urgent

Published July 19, 2020, 6:18 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Sunday challenged the Duterte administration to certify as urgent the Anti-political dynasty bill if it truly wants to dismantle oligarchy in the country.

Senator Francis Pangilinan
(Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Pangilinan, who chairs the Senate committee on constitutional amendments, revision of codes and laws, says he agrees with Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon’s observation that there should be a ban on political dynasties to effectively remove oligarchs in the country.

“Tagal na nitong nakabinbin. Nakasaad pa sa Saligang Batas. Kailangang sumulong ito sa Kongreso, at mangyayari lang ito kung sasabihin ng Pangulo. (It’s long overdue. It is ordered by the Constitution. It has to move in Congress, and it will only do so with the President’s imprimatur),” said Pangilinan.

Drilon earlier called on the Duterte government to pass the anti-political dynasty bill after the President boasted he was able to eliminate an oligarch without having to impose martial law following the House committee on legislative franchises’ junking of the ABS-CBN Corp.’s application for franchise renewal.

Pangilinan said certifying the anti-political dynasty bill as urgent would be a tangible proof of the administration’s desire to dismantle the rule of oligarchs in the country.

According to the senator, he had already filed Senate Bill No. 264 in July last year defining and prohibiting political dynasties, but the bill has hardly moved.

“We challenge this administration to make a difference and certify the anti-political dynasty bill as urgent, so that it will move in Congress,” Pangilinan added.

Pangilinan explained the control of one family and transfer of power from one generation to the next usually characterizes an oligarchy.

He pointed out political elites in the country perpetuate themselves into power by means of maintaining political dynasties.

Various data also show that dynasties are pervasive in the 10 poorest provinces in the country, the lawmaker stressed.

“Three decades later and despite numerous attempts to enact such legislation, there is still no enabling law prohibiting political dynasties in the country. Thus, its existence has undermined the checks and balance in government, weakened the competition in the political system, resulting in less access for alternative leaders to be part of the political arena, and perpetuated personality-based politics by prompting politicians to invest in their relatives,” Pangilinan said in the explanatory note of the bill.