By Arjay L. Balinbin
PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte’s Charter review body is set to decide on Monday, March 12, on the final “architecture” of the anti-dynasty provisions.
“The Consultative Committee (ConCom) to Review the 1987 Constitution is set to vote at its en banc meeting on Monday on a set of self-executing constitutional provisions that could spell the doom for political dynasties in the country,” said the office of ConCom Chairman Reynato S. Puno in a statement on Sunday.
The Committee will vote on provisions covering a ban on relatives up to the second-degree of consanguinity and affinity; the extent of prohibition on the holding of or running for multiple simultaneous positions at the national, regional (or constituent state), local and barangay levels; and the extent of prohibition on the succession of an incumbent public official by a relative.
As for the proposed ban on relatives up to the second-degree of consanguinity and affinity, Mr. Puno’s office said it “will affirm a consensus arrived at last week in a committee-of-the whole deliberation on the extent of the domination by political dynasties and how they have led to bad governance, created (a) monopoly of political and economic power, bastardized democracy, stunted socioeconomic development, and contributed to poverty.”
On the extent of prohibition on holding or running for multiple simultaneous positions, the Committee will decide “whether or not two or more relatives to the second degree may be allowed to simultaneously hold or run for positions at the national, regional, local, or barangay levels or any combination.”
On the extent of prohibition on the succession of an incumbent official by a relative, ConCom will vote “whether or not a relative (in) the second degree may be allowed to run for an office to be vacated by the incumbent at the national, regional, local or barangay levels.”
A second-degree ban, the Chairman’s office said, covers politicians’ relatives “by consaguinity: (1) parents, (2) grandparents, (3) children, (4) grandchildren, (5) brothers/sisters, and (6) nephews/nieces; by affinity: (1) spouse, (2) parents and siblings of the spouse (parents-in-law, brothers/sisters-in-law), (3) grandparents-in-law, (4) spouses of the politician’s siblings and their spouses; and step relatives: step brother/sister, step parents, etc., which are considered the same as blood relationship.”
A study led by Mr. Puno and former Budget secretary Salvador M. Enriquez showed that there are at least “295 political families who control power in various regions — with Metro Manila having the most number, 31 in all.”
“The regions with the most number of dynasties apart from NCR are Central Luzon with 21, Calabarzon with 20, Bicol Region with 15, Western Visayas with 12, Mimaropa with 11 and Central Visayas with 10.”
A study by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM)-Policy Center showed that “in the 2013 elections, 50% of the positions for governor were contested by political dynasties; in another 11%, the dynasties had no opponent.”
It added: “In the same year’s elections for the House of Representatives, 43 seats were won by dynasty over another dynasty while 71 seats were won by a dynasty over a non-dynasty.”