Sen. Nancy Binay on Tuesday said the proposed enabling law that will put teeth to the constitutional prohibition against political dynasties should cover the entire government system and should not be limited to elective positions.
Binay, eldest daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay, was reacting to a part of President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s State of the Nation Address on Monday where he made a pitch for the anti-dynasty bill.
The senator said having a policy against family members being appointed to different departments in the executive branch is also important considering that their appointment is based on the discretion of one person.
She added that if there will be a law that would disallow families who want to serve the people through elective posts there, there should also be a policy that would prevent members of families holding positions in various departments of the government simultaneously.
“There should be a law on appointments because it is not the will of the people,” Binay pointed out.
She refused to give names when asked if she could give an example of a family whose members were appointed to various government offices.
Records, however, show that members of the Aquino Cabinet have relatives occupying elective posts and and/or appointed to various government positions.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad’s daughter, Julia, heads the Presidential Management Staff, and son Luis used to be the chief of staff of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima. Abad’s wife, Henedina, is the congressional representative of Batanes and is Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala has eight relatives in the government. His brother, Vicente, represents the second district of Quezon in the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, Sen. Cynthia Villar said that even if Senate managed to pass its version of the anti-dynasty bill, the possibility of it becoming a law is dim as it might face strong opposition from the House of Representatives.
She added that it would be difficult for the anti-political dynasty bill to get support from congressmen because many of the members of the chamber have relatives holding elective positions.
“I believe that to be able to pass the law, it should be passed by the House first,” Villar said.
Senator Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, chairman of the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation, earlier said he would be filing a substitute anti-political dynasty bill to expand the coverage of the measure.
Pimentel added that under his substitute bill, only one member of a family will be allowed to hold a national position.