• High Court junks petition vs. political dynasties

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    THE Supreme Court (SC) has junked a petition questioning political dynasties in the Philippines, saying the constitutional ban on dynasties needs an enabling law before it can be implemented.

    In a resolution dated January 28, the Court affirmed the ruling of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that the provision in the 1987 Constitution is not “self-executing.”

    The resolution was signed by clerk of court Enriqueta Vidal.

    The Court dismissed the taxpayers’ suit filed by Enrique Bulan, Antonio Igcalinos, Alexander Lacson, and Jose Tabada who claimed that political dynasties exist in the provinces of Davao, Pampanga, and Camarines Sur and in Valenzuela City.

    The petitioners called on the Comelec to disqualify Rodrigo Duterte, Dennis Pineda, Sherwin and Rexlon Gatchalian of Valenzuela, and Luis and Miguel Villafuerte of Camarines Sur.

    Rebuffed by the poll body, the petitioners went before the SC, accusing the Comelec of grave abuse of discretion.

    But the Court ruled that the Comelec ”committed no grave abuse of discretion in holding that Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Constitution is not a self-executing provision.”

    The Constitution states “the State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.”

    The Court added the constitutional provision cannot be implemented without an enabling law.

    The Court also said the petition was submitted on January 15, 2014 “when it should have been filed on or before January 10, 2014.”

    Recently, the SC also dismissed the appeals of two groups to order Congress to pass a law that would define political dynasties.

    One motion was filed by a group led by former vice president Teofisto Guingona Jr. and the other by former senatorial candidate Ricardo Penson.

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