Con-com anti-dynasty provision a ‘big victory’

MANILA — The decision of the Consultative Committee (Con-com) to include in its draft charter a provision that regulates political dynasties up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity is a “big victory,” one of the body’s members said Monday.

A second-degree regulation means that parents, in-laws, children, grandparents, and grandchildren of an incumbent official will be prohibited from holding or running for public office.

Con-com member and De La Salle University Political Science Professor Julio Teehankee described it as a “big victory,” noting that it took over 30 years for anti-dynasty provisions to be enacted.

“The mere fact that we actually succeeded today in passing this provision, hopefully, it will be part of the final draft, is already a big victory because for 32 years, we have been trying to enact an anti-dynasty provision,” Teehankee told reporters in an interview.

“Finally, we have a working, strong, and reasonable anti-dynasty provision,” he added.

Teehankee explained that in the 1986 Constitutional Commission, it was originally proposed to be a total prohibition until some commissioners viciously debated against it.

More concerns

The Con-com has yet to decide on some concerns about arbitrarily disqualifying candidates as there were suggestions brought up for the regulation of relatives to include mistresses, domestic partners, boyfriends, and girlfriends, among others.

Con-com member, lawyer Roan Libarios, said that the body will reach a decision by Tuesday afternoon.

“Pag-uusapan pero wag muna mag botohan (We’ll discuss it but we’ll not put it to a vote yet). We’re giving ourselves tonight and tomorrow morning to thresh out the issues raised by some members and finally bukas ng hapon (tomorrow afternoon) we can have the decision ready,” Libarios told reporters in an interview.

Con-com chairperson and former Chief Justice Reynato Puno said the body has yet to agree on provisions in terms of the extent of prohibition of simultaneously running for multiple positions and the extent of prohibitions on simultaneously holding multiple positions.

“Yung (The) ban on simultaneous running of relatives within the second degree by consanguinity or affinity ay napaka raming problema kaya bukas, i-set ‘yun (has a lot of problems that’s why we’ll set that for tomorrow),” Puno said.

At present, the Con-com has voted to prohibit relatives within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity to run in the election to succeed the president or vice president.

Seventeen Con-com members voted in favor of this provision while only one voted against it.

The body also voted to include barangay level in the political dynasty regulation.

Similarly, seventeen Con-com members voted in favor of including barangay level in the regulated prohibition on political dynasties while one voted against it.