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.

  • PSEi breaches 8,000 level, but profit-taking pared most gains

    [caption id="attachment_257092" align="alignleft" width="150"] PSEi breaches 8,000 mark (PSE photo)[/caption] Local share prices surged on a slew of positive news from abroad, sending the Philippine Stock Exchange index past the 8,000 mark for the first time in history. BDO Unibank chief market strategist Jonathan Ravelas said the market rose due to “positive foreign equity portfolio flows and Fed Chair Yellen’s comments last week reiterating thethat the FOMC will be data dependent and …

  • Abandoned, hard-up husband hits P60-M Lotto pot

    Lady luck finally smiled on a hard-up tricycle driver, who endured being abandoned by his wife and seeing his children drop out of school before hitting the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) 6/45 Lotto jackpot worth nearly P60 million. PCSO acting chairman Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II said the 29-year old lucky bettor hit the jackpot in the March 20 draw by correctly picking the winning numbers 02-03-14-22-29-30, which corresponds to the birth anniversary dates of his family members. …

  • News In Brief

    P/$ RATE CLOSES AT P44.80/$1The peso exchange rate closed  lower  at P44.80  to the US dollar yesterday at the Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. (PDEx) from P44.76  last  Friday.  The weighted average rate  unchanged  to  P44.796  from  P44.796.  Total volume amounted to $340.6 million.PUMP PRICES RAISED THIS WEEKThe pump prices of gasoline products will be raised by P1.10 per liter this week and diesel by P0.60 per liter, according to the oil companies. In an advisory to the media, the oil …

  • Need for modern national sports complex underscored

    Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara yesterday pushed for the construction of a “state-of-the-art” and “highly scientific sports complex” that can be used by the country’s national athletes for high-level training and total wellness program. Angara, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Games, Amusement and Sports, said the government should at least provide decent support to its athletes by providing them with ultramodern sports venues and facilities if it wants them to improve the country’s …

  • Makati mayor slams PNP’s role in mayoralty row

    Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay denounced what he called apparent “misuse” of the Philippine National Police (PNP) force in the implementation of “selective suspension” of government officials not allied with the ruling party. Binay said he sympathizes with PNP personnel who often got caught in the middle of political conflicts, and called for an end to dirty political tactics. [caption id="attachment_257243" align="aligncenter" width="648"] THANKSGIVING MEAL – Vice President Jejomar C. …

  • EVAP warns of unscrupulous foreign electric vehicle suppliers

    The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines  (EVAP) has cautioned local manufacturers and end users against unscrupulous foreign EV suppliers that are flocking into the domestic market. In a sunrise industry like the electric vehicle industry, EVAP stressed that choosing the right partner or supplier is a difficult task. “In the absence of any track record to review, an end user is at a loss as to how to choose a reliable and competent supplier,” said Atty. Bodie Pulido, EVAP …

  • Mayors laud bill increasing tax revenue allocation for LGUs

    The League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) is backing the proposed increase in the annual automatic allocations for local government units (LGUs) to boost inclusive growth with improved infrastructure, modernized agriculture and easier access to resources. Mayor Jess Burahan, secretary-general of the LMP said the empowerment of LGUs through added resources is a game changer in boosting inclusive growth. …

  • Freeze order against Jinggoy assets final; Bong guards face raps

    The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has turned down with finality the plea of Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada to lift the freeze order on his properties amounting to more than P183 million. In a resolution released yesterday, the Fifth Division denied Estrada’s motion for reconsideration that sought that the court lift its writ of preliminary attachment/garnishment that was issued on February 17 that ordered the freeze of his properties. “As movant has not filed a counterbond and his arguments …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options