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SB No.

1688: Anti-Political Dynasty Act

By: Arnold V. De Castro

Filipinos have always been proud of how much value is put into the concept of family. In
the Filipino community, it can be seen how close families can be when they go as far as supporting
even extended members of the family, despite the hardships and nuisances it may bring 1. Being
"clannish" and family oriented people, Filipinos tend to give in to relatives and friends. Although it
could very well serve as a positive trait that Filipinos have, it can also pose as a problem that no
matter how principled one may be, it is so easy for one to bend the rules in favor of their beloved
"kapamilya". The same clannish trait of the Filipinos is one that is not forgotten in the arena of
Philippine politics2.


The Philippine Constitution is explicit under its Declaration of Principles and State Policies
that the State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political
dynasties as may be defined by the law.

Indeed, the rationale behind this provision is the widening of the opportunities of
competent, young and promising poor candidates to occupy important positions in the government.
Truth is we have officials of the government who have led to power despite accident of birth; they
are exceptions to the general rule. In fact, the economic standing of these officials would show that
they come from powerful clans with vast economic fortunes.

Although the said constitutional provision speaks in terms of service, it is meant to be a
blow in the direction of democratizing political power. In connection with this, some politicians and
authorities have espoused the contention that the establishment political dynasty is a useful way of
monopolizing and perpetuating power. This is the reason of the fundamental law why it mandates
the State to prohibit political dynasties. But still associated with this is the argument that the
electorate should be given the right to formulate free a decision of who to elect. Partly for that
reason, the meaning of political dynasties has been left for the Congress to define. However, the
irony arises since it is the Congress as the principal playground of political dynasties, there is a doubt
whether or not the realization of the objective of the constitutional provision on political dynasties
will be attained.

Moreover, without an implementing law and no restrictions, political dynasties have come to
occupy 70% of Congress. In Local Government Units, 85% of governors, 75% of vice-governors,
and a large share of mayors (66%) and vice-mayors (50%) from outside the National Capital Region
(NCR) were revealed to be from dynastic families.

Jose Galang, “Preview on Political Dysnaties in the Philippines”. April 23, 2014. Accessed
April 17, 2018. Available from <
dynasty-bill-nowWhy Congress must pass the anti-political dynasty bill now>

a. to eliminate the concentration of governmental powers with eminent and well-known families and clans. b. Political dynasty relationship exists when: [b. is possible. there is a reservation of the citizenry as to the idea of whether their goal. This bill indeed is the answer to the dead-end like controversy of equality brought about by the existence of political dynasties for the reason that it may serve as the foundation to guarantee equal access to public service. Likewise. and political power by persons related to one another.1] spouse or person related within the third (3rd) civil degree of consanguinity or affinity. this doubt is addressed to be resolved by some of the most dedicated elected officials serving the people with utmost good faith and integrity.2] relatives of the incumbent national elective official who are to run within the same province where the latter is a registered voter. brought about by the existence . whether legitimate or illegitimate.INTEGRAL STEP TO RESOLVE DOUBT As mentioned. consolidation or perpetuation of public office. said bill is a means to devastate the concept that political dynasty is monopolizing the system of governance since it limits the chances of other common Filipinos to serve the people. Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV has introduced the aforementioned bill addressing the cry for change among the Filipino people and. However. It prevents the birth of a brain drain in the sense that capable leaders who could possibly perform better than those currently in office. Political Dynasty is defined as the concentration. [c. Prohibited Candidates [c.1] spouse of an incumbent elective official or a relative within the third (3rd) civil degree of consanguinity or affinity of an incumbent elective official holds or runs for elective office simultaneously with the latter within the same city and/or province or occupies the same office immediately after the term of office of the incumbent elective official. with a plea for a better public services. there are controversies or problems. Moreover.2] two (2) or more persons who are spouses or are related within the third (3rd) civil degree of consanguinity or affinity run simultaneously for elective public office within the same city and/or province. BENEFICIALITY OF THE BILL The reason behind the above-mentioned constitutional provision as regards political dynasty is indeed satisfied. would now be given an opportunity when running against someone with fame. to an incumbent elective official seeking re-election who are to hold or run for any elective office in the same province in the same election. [b. even if neither is related to an incumbent elective official. c. full or half-blood. In connection with this. To summarize. the following are the key points of the said Bill.

the purpose of the said bill is leaning towards the principle of equality before the law. Well-intentioned individuals are deterred from seeking office. siphon off public funding. The problem is even more pronounced in smaller localities. By packing every major office. Going over the mandate of said bill. principle of checks and balances is preserved. In fact. it’s quite easy for clans to organize local militias. this is more consonance with the pronouncement of the Supreme Court in the case of ________ that the framers of the Constitution specifically included an exception to the people’s freedom to choose those who will govern them in order to avoid the evil of a single person or even a clan or family accumulating excessive power over a particular territorial jurisdiction as a result of a prolonged stay in the same office. .to eliminate the concentration of powers arising from the existence of political dynasties designed to perpetrate their ill-desired political schemes and abuse of power.of political dynasties. the centrality of dynasties to politics lowers the costs associated with committing corrupt acts. In analogy. First. political dynasties corrupt the system of checks and balances. said purpose is in line with the reason of the bill. leaving positions open to individuals who view government as an opportunity to amass more wealth and power. and perpetuate their rule by cycling through the ranks. Even if they face corruption or other criminal charges. these controversies may have more probability to be resolved. Through the salient provisions of the bill. which may be effectively addressed by the enactment of said bill into a law. Furthermore. political actors can continue to reap the benefits of power by having spouses or children take their seats. Second. the continued success of political families despite corruption charges undermines the rule of law. and perpetuates a system of corruption in government. Third.