ConCom votes to ‘regulate,’ not ban, political dynasties

Font Size

By Tricia Aquino, Interaksyon

THE Consultative Committee (ConCom) reviewing the 1987 Constitution on Monday voted 10-9 to regulate political dynasties, as opposed to a total ban on political dynasties. They also voted to extend the regulation on political dynasties up to the second degree of consanguinity and affinity, as opposed to the third and fourth degrees.

This means that an incumbent official’s parents, children, spouse (first degree), grandparents, siblings, grandchildren, parents-in-law, and brothers- and sisters- in-law (second degree) are covered by the ban.

These recommendations will go into a report that the ConCom will present to President Rodrigo R. Duterte for consideration in time for his State of the Nation Address in July.

To start the ConCom’s session on Monday at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, De La Salle University political science professor and former dean Julio Teehankee presented arguments for the regulation of political dynasties, 295 of which now exist throughout the Philippines.

According to him, more than 160 political clans with two or more members have already served in Congress.

He noted that cases of so-called “good dynasties” are “few and far between,” and cited a study by a Political Science faculty member of the University of the Philippines which found that members of the House of Representatives who get elected again and again do not get “more tried and tested.” Rather, as they get entrenched into power, their productivity is diminished.

The “main evil” that must be addressed, said Teehankee, is the incumbent advantage which leads to self-perpetuation. He cited studies that show that local officials who have been elected several times have a tendency to use their position to their advantage in electoral competition.

He further explained that political dynasties draw on the public coffers and even rely on violence to “reproduce” themselves in office.

Here is how the ConCom voted:

Arthur Aguilar – total ban, 4th degree

Prof. Eddie Alih – regulation, 4th degree

Fr. Ranhilio Aquino – absent

Atty. Antonio Arellano – total ban, 4th degree

Atty. Ali Balindong – regulation, 2nd degree

Dr. Virgilio Bautista – regulation, 2nd degree

Atty. Ferdinand Bocobo – regulation, 2nd degree

Atty. Reuben Canoy – total ban, 4th degree

Atty. Roan Libarios – regulation, 2nd degree

Retired Associate Justice Antonio Nachura – total ban, 2nd degree

Atty. Susan Ubalde-Ordinario – total ban, 4th degree

Atty. Randolph Parcasio – regulation, 4th degree

Former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. – total ban, 4th degree

Retired Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes – regulation, 2nd degree

Atty. Rodolfo Robles – regulation, 4th degree

Atty. Victor de la Serna – total ban, 4th degree

Prof. Edmund Tayao – regulation, 2nd degree

Dean Julio Teehankee – total ban, 2nd degree

Former Kalinga Representative Laurence Wacnang – total ban, 2nd degree

Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno – regulation, 2nd degree