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I. The Political Dynasty in the Philippines.

The exclusive domain of influential families and clans are


well entrenched in Philippine politics, despite the existence
of a Constitutional provision prohibiting such.
A. Article 2, Section 26 provides The State shall
guarantee equal access to public service and prohibit
political dynasty as may be defined by law.
B. The above provision however was ruled by the
Supreme Court as not self- executing and must have an
enabling law passed by Congress to back it up.
(http://www.mb.com.ph/belmonte-anti-political-dynasty-billdead-in-16th-congress/)
C. A bill passed by Congress can become a law through
the following:
1. When the President signs it.
2. When the President does not sign it nor
communicate his veto within 30 days after it shall have been
presented to him.
3. When the President vetoes it, but the veto is
override by 2/3 of all the members of each houses voting
separately. (Philippine Constitution)
D. The enforcement of referendum and initiative as
reserved power of the people given by the Constitution may
be invoke as alternatives in case Senate rejects the bill
provided of course that its amendment has the force of law.
(http://law.jrank.org/pages/10130/Self-Executing.html)

II. Definitions of Terms


A. Political Dynasty is defined as shall exist when a
person who is a spouse of an incumbent elective official or
relative within the second civil degree of consanguinity or
affinity of an incumbent elective official within the same
province or occupies the same office immediately after the
term of office of the incumbent elective official. It shall also
be deemed to exist where two or more spouses or are
related within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity
run simultaneously for elective public office within the same
province, even if neither or so related to an incumbent
elective official. (S.N. 2649, Anti Political Dynasty Act
introduced by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, July 1, 2013)
B. Constitutional provisions are not self-executing if
they merely set forth a line of policy or principles without
supplying the means by which they are to be effectuated or
if the language of the Constitution is directed to the
legislature.
C. A bill becomes a law when it passed three readings,
and must be approved by Congress, authenticated with the
signatures of the Senate President, Speaker of the House,
Secretaries of their respective chambers and the President.
(Section 26-27, Article VI of the Philippine Constitution)
D. Referendum is the right reserved to the people to
adopt or reject any act or measure which has been passed
by legislative body and which in most cases would without
action on the part of electors become a law. (Section 32,
Article VI of the Philippine Constitution)
Initiative is the power of the people to propose bills
and laws and to enact or reject them at the polls,
independent of the legislative assembly. (Section 32, Article
VI of the Philippine Constitution)

III. Argument on the Enactment of the Banning of Political


Dynasty in the Philippines
Despite the ratification of the Constitutional provision 30
years ago and several attempts to draft a bill to empower
the political dynasty prohibition, Congress failed to enact a
law enforcing Sec. 26, Article II of the Constitution. Political
dynasty continuous to exist in our system of government
where elections have been institutionalized intra-elite
competition. Political dynasties make it difficult for other
citizens to seek public office. (http://www.mb.com.ph/antipolitical-dynasty-bill-dead/)
Political Dynasty weakens the state by the monopoly of
power and public resources of few influential elite families. It
violates a citizens right to equal access to opportunities for
public service. Empirical analysis reveals that the presence
of many dynasties is highly correlated with more severe
poverty. (Political Families and Poverty, Ronal U Mendoza,
et.al, August 10,2015)
The Republic Act 10724 or known as the Sanguniang
Kabataan Reform Act, the first anti political dynasty law in
the country which have been approved by Congress limits
itself to those aspirants of elective office of Sanguniang
Kabataan alone and does not extend to any other elective
position in the government. The reason for the passage of
this law is clearly because barangay youth council has little
or no impact on the entrenched political families. (Political
Dynasties in the Philippines, 2013)
Although the Constitution provides for the power of the
people to propose, enact, accept or reject laws through
referendum and initiative, this provision is not self
-executing. Leaving the Filipinos hanging with a mere policy

and principle that does not have the force of law.


(http://www.admu.edu.ph/news/anti-political-dynasty-billenact-or-not-enact)

IV. Conclusion
In my opinion lawmakers avoid on touching
constitutional provisions in conflict to their political interests,
making it impossible to pave way of enforcing an anti
political dynasty law.
Legislation of such law would probably overthrow
majority of elective public officials from national and local
level. A phenomenon Congress would not concede, on which
they vowed to pass a law on anti political dynasty allowing
two members of a family to run for positions in the
government.
Moreover, transforming our government into federal
form is not a guarantee of the passage by Congress of an
anti political dynasty law. I think the best way is either to
incorporate self-executing provisions in the yet to be
formulated Revised Constitution on Federalism defining the
parameters of what political dynasty is and prohibiting the
same, or compel Congress to enact a law that would
empower the people to exercise initiative and referendum
under Section 32, Article 2 of the Constitution. In that way,
we can guarantee that proliferation of political dynasty can
be avoided even with the refusal of Congress to act on it.

Political Dynasty in the Philippines


Legal Opinion
Faith Evangeline Manara
LLB-I