No more senator-siblings? How anti-dynasty law would work

Posted at 05/23/14 1:07 PM

MANILA - Senators who are siblings may soon be a thing of the past if a new anti-political dynasty bill is passed into law.

Sen. Koko Pimentel, chairman of the Senate committee on electoral reforms and people's participation, said an anti-political dynasty law would bar relatives of sitting officials up to the second degree from running for public office.

This means that if one person is elected mayor, the law will disallow his wife, kids, parents, siblings and even grandparents from running for a public position under the mayor's control.

Pimentel said the law will not stop nephews and nieces of sitting officials from running from office since they are already too far removed from the official.

The senator said if the bill is passed into law, a sitting national official such as a senator can no longer have close relatives such as a brother or a sister running for the same position in the next election and possibly sitting together in the Upper Chamber.

He also said that if a national official is elected such as a vice-president, he cannot have a close relative run for any public position, not even for barangay captain.

"We want to avoid sure winners because it turns elections into a formality," he said.

"That is the price you have to pay for serving the country," he added.

Pimentel said he is still unclear about relatives who will run for the same position as the official whose term is about to end.

"If the sister's term is ending, can you run? I don't know. Does this cover succession? In effect, you will just be taking over the position (like a substitution). It's like inheriting the position from someone. That's the very definition of a dynasty," he said.

He also said he has yet to gauge the sentiments of senators once they get down to the nitty-gritty of the bill.

He said he plans to hold public consultations in areas allegedly controlled by political dynasties.

"For me, I am positive that they will support it but only in concept. This is why it is no longer the concept but the details that matter. How far do we go? If you are vice-president, kasama pa ba kung barangay captain? It is in the details where will agree and disagree," he said.

The Movement against Dynasties earlier said 80% of the Philippines is controlled by political dynasties.