MANILA – The House of Representatives is considering banning a relative of an incumbent government official with an elective post from succeeding his or her elective position.
This practice of succession, also called ‘election by inheritance,’ is prohibited under the proposed anti-dynasty bill.
“The bill, whether it is the original version or our committee’s version, does not allow succession… Prohibiting that is what we are pushing for,” House committee on suffrage and electoral reform chairman Capiz Representative Fredenil Castro said in an interview.
The number of kin prohibited from the same elective post, however, is still unclear as the two versions of the bill recommended different measures.
Under the original and ‘stricter’ version, the public office is limited to only one family member. While under the new committee’s version, the elective post is limited to two family members.
“Whether the anti-political dynasty prohibition limits incumbency and participation in an election to just one member or two members of a political family, succession should not be allowed,” Castro said.
Furthermore, the proposed anti-dynasty bill extends to prohibiting substitution of a relative to a former government official who is seeking re-election with the same position.
Castro hopes that the bill be passed as a law soon because he believes it will ‘level the playing field and give others a chance to hold public office.’
“The practice of political families of having four, five or more members in public office is abominable and scandalous, and should stop,” he said, citing the Binay’s as example.
“They are not my favorite example, but journalists always ask me about them whenever we discuss the bill,” he added.
Should the bill be passed, the Binay political clan is well over the limit as there are four from their family who are holding elective posts.
Aside from Vice President Binay, his children Senator Nancy Binay, Makati Representative Abigail Binay Campos, and Makati Major Junjun Binay are all in government offices.
Even numerous House representatives are also over the limit as many of them are sons, daughters or spouses of the congressmen who preceded them.
Nevertheless, Castro deems that now is the time to pass the proposed anti-dynasty bill.
“The Constitution has a provision banning political dynasties. Congress has failed to implement this provision since 1987, when the people ratified the Constitution, or for nearly three decades now,” he said, mentioning that the current election law does not ban succession or substitution.