Political Dynasties, Other Poll Reforms

Manila Bulletin, July 8, 2009 | Go to article overview

Political Dynasties, Other Poll Reforms


The dismantling of political dynasties, long the bane of the country’s political environment, may yet happen at last if their members find the wisdom to join the renewed clamor for the passage of the anti-dynasty bills now pending in the House.Already, an influential member of Congress who belongs to one of the longest-reigning political clans in the country, has initiated the move for the immediate enactment of bills designed to end political dynasties.Congressman Edno Joson, scion of a Nueva Ecija political family, the other day announced he was giving up his political plans as he vowed to spearhead the passage of bills designed to end political dynasties. He wants to give life to the anti-political dynasty provisions of the Constitution, he says.The Constitution, under the declaration of its principles and state policies, provides that “The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.”The constitutional intent, of course, is clear but the absence of the enabling law has made possible the proliferations of what the Constitution specifically prohibits.But all is not lost in the House.Congressman Teodoro Locsin of Makati, chairman of the House committee on electoral reforms, possibly moved by Congressman Joson’s special gesture, gave assurances he would pursue passage of the twin anti-dynasty measures pending in his committee.Such guarantee has given new life to at least two bills in the Locsin committee, one authored by Minority Leader Arthur Defensor and the other by Deputy Minority Leader Saturnino Ocampo.Ocampo has been quoted as saying he was already losing hope for his anti-dynasty bill until Edno Joson made a stand on the issue.

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