Group taps new kind of 'people power' to end political dynasties

Convinced that Filipino legislators have “neglected” the 1987 Constitution's mandate to pass a law defining political dynasties, a multisectoral group has launched a campaign to tap a new kind of “people power” to end the rule of a few families in the Philippines. The group Movement against Dynasties (MAD) has set out to gather over 5 million signatures as part of the process to push for a law banning political dynasties through a people's initiative. “If we will succeed in doing this, we will experience real change. We will accomplish something good for our country,” MAD chairman Quintin San Diego said at a forum at the University of the Philippines-Diliman on Tuesday afternoon. The group described itself as “an association composed of civic-minded individuals and professionals” that believes “in a government of laws rather than of men.” San Diego added that aside from soliciting signatures, his group wants to make ordinary Filipinos aware of the bad effects political dynasties have on the country. “They [political dynasties] have control of politics and the economy... Kung magkakamag-anak na ang nasa kapangyarihan, ano pa ang pagkakataon ng karaniwang tao na mahalal?” he said. A study by the Asian Institute of Management revealed that 68 percent of the Philippines' current lawmakers are members of political dynasties. The same study showed political dynasties are located in poor regions of the country. For the May 2013 midterm polls, 12 out of the 21 senatorial bets from the two biggest coalitions come from known political families. Some of these senatorial hopefuls said political dynasties are not always bad for the country. 'Tall order' San Diego, however, admitted that gathering 5 million signatures from all around the country is a “tall order.” He said that, as of now, his group has only managed to get around 100,000 signatures. “Hindi naman kami kilala. Wala naman kaming pera, but we have to at least try. Otherwise, wala nang pag-asa ang bansa,” he said. Under Republic Act 6735 or the Initiative and Referendum Act, a people's initiative must get support from 10 percent of all registered voters for it to be considered for a referendum. Under this law, this figure must include three percent of voters from each legislative district in the country. The MAD chairperson likewise said that his group's strategy is to target churches, since these areas are usually frequented by people. He added that MAD will also seek the opinion of other groups, such as the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, in defining political dynasties. In its draft petition, MAD said a political dynasty exists “when a person who is the spouse of an incumbent elective official, or a relative with the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity of an incumbent elective official, hold or runs for an elective office simultaneously with the incumbent elective official.” 'Imperfect democracy' UP President Alfredo Pascual, for his part, expressed support for the effort to pass an enabling law against political dynasties. Pascual described the rule of a few families in the Philippines as “morally, economically and legally contentious.” “The success of the electoral exercise in our country has been tarnished by the reality that the names of candidates have been too familiar and repetitive. It seems like only a few names are interested in politics in our country,” he said in a separate speech. He added that Philippine democracy can only reach full maturity once the problem with political dynasties is addressed. “Our electoral system was designed to ensure a level playing field among candidates. Political dynasties are indications of our imperfect democracy,” he said. — DVM, GMA News

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippines accuses China of turning water cannon on its fishing boats

    Filipino activists denounced China's coast guard on Tuesday for turning water cannon on Philippine fishing boats in disputed waters, near where hundreds of Filipino and American Marines landed on a beach in a mock assault.     The presidential palace in Manila said China's coast guard used water cannon on Monday to drive away a group of Filipino fishermen at Scarborough Shoal, damaging some of their wooden boats. Chinese ships rammed a fishing boat in the area a few months back. China in …

  • Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash
    Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash

    Manny Pacquiao's face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero's "fight of the century" nears. Pacmania is sweeping the Southeast Asian nation of 100 million people ahead of the May 2 Las Vegas bout against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather to decide who is the best boxer of their generation. Of course, it's the fight of the century," Manila film producer Lucky Blanco told AFP. …

  • Ex-Cavite governor gets PCSO top post
    Ex-Cavite governor gets PCSO top post

    After nearly a year, President Aquino finally made good his promise to a long-time ally – former Cavite governor and congressman Erineo Maliksi – to head the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), replacing Margarita Juico who resigned in May 2014. Maliksi must be officially elected by the PCSO board members as their chairman. Prior to his appointment to the PCSO, Maliksi faced graft charges before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the alleged illegal purchase of P2.5 million worth …

  • US, Phl military exercises to focus on sea defense
    US, Phl military exercises to focus on sea defense

    A massive deployment of aircraft, personnel and warships characterizes this year’s Balikatan between the two allies, which war games were launched 30 years ago. Commander Lued Lincuna, Philippine Navy public affairs chief, said the Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 (MBLT-4) will link  up with the US 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force. …

  • P-Noy seeking united Asean stand on China
    P-Noy seeking united Asean stand on China

    With China’s actions threatening to “considerably alter the way of doing business globally,” President Aquino will ask the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to take a united stand against Beijing’s massive reclamation activities and other provocative acts in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea. Aquino will raise the appeal to his ASEAN counterparts when they meet on April 27-28 in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi in Malaysia. Beijing reacted immediately to the plan, saying the …

  • OIC exec backs BBL, says passage to end extremism
    OIC exec backs BBL, says passage to end extremism

    The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) yesterday backed the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), warning that failure to see the peace process through with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) could open the door to extremism. OIC secretary-general Iyad Bin Amin Madani, who is in the country to rally support for the peace process and the BBL, told reporters at the Senate yesterday that the Philippines should not waste the opportunity to attain lasting peace in Mindanao, especially …

  • Senate plan to probe corruption in judiciary opposed
    Senate plan to probe corruption in judiciary opposed

    The head of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) is opposing the plan of the Senate to investigate alleged “justice for sale” in the judiciary. In an interview yesterday, IBP national president Vicente Joyas contested the pronouncement of Senate President Franklin Drilon that the Senate Blue Ribbon committee can probe the reported corruption in the judiciary, as it remains part of the scope of the Senate’s investigative power. “The plan of the Senate to push through with the …

  • PNP: Floyd camp charging P.2 M for pay-per-view
    PNP: Floyd camp charging P.2 M for pay-per-view

    The camp of Floyd Mayweather is reportedly charging the Philippine National Police P200,000 for a pay-per-view deal of his fight with Manny Pacquiao, a PNP official said yesterday. Director Danilo Constantino, the PNP’s Chief Directorial Staff, said the cost of the pay-per-view for the fight makes it difficult for the PNP to sponsor the free viewing for its personnel and their dependents at Camp Crame’s multi-purpose center. “We are currently negotiating for the pay-per-view and we ever …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options