By Randy David
Now on its second reading in the House of Representatives is a bill that seeks to prohibit “the establishment of political dynasties.”
I am not a politician but I do believe that politicians are a basic foundation of democratic institutions. Without the politicians, government tends to become autocratic. In an autocratic form of government, the citizens are mere subjects, not the “bosses” that President Aquino has publicly dubbed them. In a democratic government like we have today, the citizens regardless of status are guaranteed by the Constitution equal treatment before the law. However, too much politics undermines good governance, such that political dynasties rise, thus destroying democratic principles.
By Karim Raslan
Philippine President Aquino is a dynast who means what he says.
The good news: The antidynasty bill pending in the House of Representatives has hurdled the committee level—the first time for such a development. To understand why it can qualify as a minor miracle, consider that as much as 70 percent of the members of the current Congress are products of political dynasties. The antidynasty provision present in the Constitution since 1986 has not been fleshed out all this time, simply because legislators will not commit self-immolation by enacting a law that would gut their families’ reliable power base.
For the first time in living memory, a bill seeking the abolition of political dynasties has cleared the first legislative hurdle: committee approval. The next hurdle is considerable: a debate on the floor, to be conducted mostly by disapproving political dynasts. Good luck with that.