ConCom unanimously adopts anti-political dynasty provisions

MANILA In the first time that it voted unanimously, the Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked to review the 1987 Constitution on Wednesday adopted its proposed anti-political dynasty provisions that may yet make dynasties a thing in the past.

In an en banc session, all 18 of the 20 ConCom members present voted in favor of the anti-political dynasty provisions that, if adopted by Congress under the revised charter, would guarantee equal access for public service and prohibit political dynasties.

San Beda School of Law Dean Fr. Ranhilio Aquino and Victor de la Serna were not present to cast vote in what some ConCon members described as a historic step to finally eliminate 'omnipotents' in the country's political system.

Those who voted in favor are ConCom chairman and former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, subcommittee on political reforms chairman Julio Teehankee, Aquilino 'Nene' Pimentel Jr., Bievenido Reyes, Rueben Canoy, Antonio Nachura Jr., Laurence Wacnang, Roan Libarios, Edmund Soriano Tayao, Victor De La Serna, Eddie Mapag Alih, Randolf Climaco Parcasio, Ali Pangalian Balindog, Antonio Arellano, Arthur Aguilar, Susan Ubalde-Ordinariio, Rodolfo Dia Robles, Virgilio Baustista and Ferdinand Bacobo.

After hours of introducing amendments, the committee has finally agreed to come out with the final version which says Sec. ___ The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties.

The proposed anti-political dynasty provisions have four subparagraphs that include:

* A political dynasty exists when a family whose members are related up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity whether such relations are legitimate, illegitimate, half or full blood, maintains or is capable of maintaining political control by succession or by simultaneously running for or holding elective positions.

* No person related to an incumbent elective official within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, as described above, can run for the same position in the immediately following election.

* Persons related within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, as described above, are prohibited from running simultaneously for more than one national and one regional or local position.

* Congress may, by law, provide for additional prohibitions.

In a speech explaining his vote, Puno said prohibiting political dynasties up to the second degree of consanguinity and affinity will fix the right balance between the right of the people to elect and their right to be elected.

With this kind of balancing and the other political reforms, we shall further install in our Constitution, I am confident that we shall soon talking of the problem of political dynasties in the past tense, Puno, a former Chief Justice, said.

Source: Philippine News Agency