MANILA: While admitting it is powerless to stop political families from running in the next elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said they are just leaving it to the voters to put an end to political dynasties.
In the absence of any law banning political dynasties, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said the poll body could not prohibit or control them.
“There’s nothing we can do. There is no enabling law that prohibits political dynasty though it is prohibited under the Constitution,” Brillantes explained.
Brillantes stressed Comelec needs the law to take action, and at this time they can only administer what law provides.
He said the Comelec would notify the Supreme Court (SC) if they are told to testify on the case seeking a ban against political dynasty. A certain Louis Biraogo filed a petition as a taxpayer, asking the SC to compel the Comelec to outlaw political dynasties in his 26-page petition for mandamus, citing Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
The Constitution provides that “the State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.” But Brillantes suggested that the voters, particularly those advocating against political dynasty, should take the initiative against the issue.
“People’s initiative is the best move so that it would not pass Congress because they (lawmakers) will not do something that will directly affect them. For me, that is the real solution,” Brillantes said.
The Constitution provides that amendments to the law can be done through a petition of at least 12 percent of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three percent of the registered voters.
The Philippine Star