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Drilon files anti-political dynasty bill

Outgoing Senate President Franklin M. Drilon asked Congress yesterday to pass his proposed Anti-Political Dynasty Act to finally implement a provision of the 1987 Constitution prohibiting political dynasties.

Efforts to put a clamp on political families controlling their constituencies by past Congresses had failed.

Drilon said his measure, Senate Bill No. 230 filed last week, seeks ’’to level the playing field in the political arena pursuant to cornerstone of our country’s governmental ideology – democracy.’’

“No less than the Constitution mandates the State to “guarantee equal access to public service and prohibit political dynasty,” Drilon stressed.

The Senate chief expressed optimism that passage by Congress of his bill “is highly possible” after the successful enactment into law of the Sangguniang Kabatan Reform Act in the last Congress, which contains “a well-praised landmark anti-political dynasty provision.”

Drilon said that apart from democratizing the election process, the bill, when enacted into law, also addresses the ill-effects of political dynasties, particularly in the countryside.

“Research found dynastic concentration to have a significantly negative effect on the upliftment of local living standards, noting that lack of real political competition leads to flawed policies,” Drilon said, citing a study led by former Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.

Under the Drilon bill, no spouse or person related within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity, whether legitimate or illegitimate, full or half blood, to an incumbent elective official seeking re-election shall be allowed to hold or run for any elective office in the same province in the same election. (Mario B. Casayuran)