Proposed dynasty ban ‘self-executing‘

  • Written by Dennis F. Fetalino
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 312

Ped xing

“I am not color-blind. I know the world is black and white”—John Mayer

No more ambiguities, generalities, and grey areas.

Drafters of changes to the basic law of the land have just removed the ( the black hole ) or the ( twilight zone ) in the basic law of the land.

By proposing specific provisions against political dynasties, the drafters want a new Constitution with built-in ban on political families and clans.

By doing so, the people no longer have to wait for Congress to enact an enabling law to fulfill the constitutional prohibition against dynastic rule.

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno has a term for it--- “self-executing “.
In a game-changing move, the Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked to review the 1987 Constitution (March 12) has voted to put an end to the practice of political dynasties of passing on their positions to relatives one after another.
Members of the ConCom voted 17 to 1 to prohibit any succession by a relative up to the second-degree of relations by blood (consanguinity) or by marriage (affinity) in any elective position in all levels of government from national, regional, provincial, city, municipality and barangay.
This means that an elected official who is ending his term may not be succeeded by his spouse, his children and their spouses, his grandchildren, his brothers and sisters and their spouses, his parents and grandparents, his spouse’s parents and grandparents, and his spouse’s brothers and sisters and their spouses.
Before deciding on the prohibition on succession, the ConCom first voted on the degree of relationship that will be covered by the ban. The vote was 10 for second degree and 9 for fourth degree in the runoff after no majority was obtained in the first round.  The initial vote was 9-all for second and fourth degrees and one for third degree.
First- and second-degree relationship also includes  step relatives (step children, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters) and adopted relatives.
Ten of 19 members who attended the panel’s fourth en banc meeting voted for second-degree prohibition against 9 who voted for extending the prohibition to fourth degree.
The committee had a lengthy deliberation on whether or not to allow succession among national officials, in particular the President and Vice President who will be the only nationally elected officials under a federal set up.
The ConCom had already decided in previous sessions that senators would be elected by region or constituent state.
Of the 18 members present, only former Rep. Roan Libarios, who argued that the control and domination of political dynasties is pronounced at the regional and local levels but not at the national level, voted to allow succession at the national level.
Talking to media after the landmark vote, former Chief Justice Puno, chairman of the committee, said the strong and self-executing anti-dynasty provision is a prerequisite to the shift to a federal system of government.  
“When we federalize the country, we are giving powers to the constituent units—whether we call them states or regions. We cannot give them such powers if dynasties continue to rule and dominate them,” Puno said.
The proposed anti-dynasty would be self-executing, meaning no law is necessary for it to take effect.
Puno said the provision must be self-executing because “we have seen what happened in the last 32 years” during which Congress failed to pass any law regulating dynasties.
The Committee, however, deferred voting on provisions that will prohibit running for or holding multiple positions because of the complexity of the issue.
In the initial deliberations, several questions arose, particularly on the how the prohibition could be operationalized. The committee will continue deliberations on this in its en banc session today.
Behold God’s glory
And seek his mercy
Pause and pray people,