Con-com to vote on provisions to abolish or regulate political dynasty

MANILA It might just be the end of political dynasties in the Philippines if a presidential-federal Constitution pushes through.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte's Consultative Committee (Con-com) to Review the 1987 Constitution is set to vote on Monday at its en banc meeting on constitutional provisions that could abolish or regulate political dynasties in the country.

This, after the Con-com last week arrived at a consensus on a second-degree ban after reviewing various expert research and studies on political dynasties in the country.

In a statement, the Con-com said that the vote will involve a ban on relatives up to the second-degree of consanguinity (relations by blood) and affinity (relations by law).

This 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 monopoly of political and economic power, bastardized democracy, stunted socioeconomic development, and contributed to poverty, the statement read.

The Con-com will decide on the extent of prohibition on holding or running for multiple simultaneous positions at the national, regional (or constituent state), local, and barangay levels.

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, the statement read.

Moreover, it will also vote on the extent of prohibition on succession of an incumbent public official by a relative.

Whether or not a relative to 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, the statement read.

The second-degree ban will cover a politician's parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings, nephews/nieces, spouse, parents, and siblings of the spouse, and even step relations.

According to a study by University of the Philippines Professor Rolando Simbulan, there are dynasties in 73 of the 81 provinces in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, another study Con-com chairman and former Chief Justice Reynato Puno and former budget secretary Salvador Enriquez Jr. showed 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.

On the other hand, an AIM Policy Center study showed that in the 2013 elections, 50 percent of the positions for governor was contested by political dynasties; in another 11 percent, the dynasties had no opponent.

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.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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