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.

  • China breaks ground on lighthouse project in South China Sea

    China hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the building of two lighthouses in the disputed South China Sea, state media said on Tuesday, a move that is likely to escalate tensions in a region already jittery about Beijing's maritime ambitions. China's Ministry of Transport hosted the ceremony for the construction of two multi-functional lighthouses on Huayang Reef and Chigua Reef on the disputed Spratly islands, state news agency Xinhua said, defying calls from the United States and the …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Thai, Philippine indexes weak after trade data

    BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose in line with the rest of Asia on Tuesday but the Thai index pared early gains after weak trade data in April, while the Philippine benchmark ... …

  • Is your home on top of a faultline?
    Is your home on top of a faultline?

    The Philippine Institute of Volcanoly and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) recently issued an updated and high-resolution "atlas" of the East Valley Fault and West Valley Fault, two major faultlines that run through sections of Metro Manila. Metro Manila may be due for a 7.2-magnitude earthquake within this lifetime, say experts from the institute, among them PHIVOLCS director Dr. Renato Solidum, Jr. According to records, the last major earthquake caused by the West Valley Fault took place 357 years …

  • Filipina maid photographs "modern slavery" in Hong Kong

    By Emma Batha LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A Filipina maid in Hong Kong has published stark photographs of burned and beaten domestic workers to highlight the "modern slavery" she says has long been the city's shameful secret. "Hong Kong is a very modern, successful city but people treat their helpers like slaves," said Xyza Cruz Bacani, whose black and white portraits won her a scholarship from the Magnum Foundation to start studying at New York University this month. It's common …

  • Want to buy a brand new car?
    Want to buy a brand new car?

    Tired of fixing your old car? Maybe, this is the best time for you to invest a brand new car. BPI Family Savings Bank, the country’s leading consumer bank, is extending its newest campaign “Bagong Kotse, 1-Month Libre” promo until June 30, 2015 which allows potential car buyers to avail of a car loan term up […] The post Want to buy a brand new car? appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’
    ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’

    The daughter of one of the Kentex Manufacturing Corp. owners has assured the government that the businessmen are still in the Philippines, contrary to some reports that they have fled the country. Barbara Ang, daughter of Kentex shareholder Veato Ang, said her father and his business partners have no plans of leaving the country despite the razing of the Valenzuela slipper factory, which killed 72 workers on May 13. Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian also stood by his promise to punish any local …

  • Lawmakers to review building code provisions
    Lawmakers to review building code provisions

    Lawmakers are set to review provisions of the National Building Code and Republic Act 10121, or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, to strengthen contingencies and policies to prepare the country for possible major earthquakes. The move came following proposals from Reps. Winston Castelo of Quezon City and Lito Atienza of the Buhay party-list to review the two laws and other regulations during a hearing of the House committee on Metro Manila development on the …

  • Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms
    Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms

    The Philippines’ attaining first world status may soon be imminent if significant reforms initiated by the current administration would be consistently pursued, President Aquino suggested yesterday. “Kung madidiligan ang ating mga pinunla, at makaka-graduate ang mga pinag-aaral natin upang makapasok sa maaayos na trabaho, baka po tuluyan nang nasa first world status tayo sa panahong iyon (If we water the seeds sown and those we sent to school will find better jobs, then time will come that …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options