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Pangilinan: Remove turncoats from office

SEN. Francis Pangilinan, president of the Liberal Party (LP), wants to disqualify political turncoats from office as he rejected “patronage politics.”

Pangilinan raised the need to institutionalize and strengthen political parties as pillars of the country’s democratic system as he filed Senate Bill (SB) 421 or the “Political Party System Act.”

The bill aims to create a state subsidy fund to enable political parties to build meaningful political identities, policy-based platforms and agenda, and internal democratic structures.

“If we are to encourage a bigger part of the electorate to be critical thinkers and have informed positions on issues that affect the country, we need to establish a credible political party system where people who have the same ideologies and advocacies can work toward the promotion of said beliefs,” Pangilinan said.

Aside from providing state subsidies to political parties, the bill introduces the following reforms on the political party system: make campaign finance more transparent, prohibit political turncoatism and strengthen citizen-party linkages.

“If political parties are state-funded, the public can demand accountability and transparency from parties and candidates,” the senator said.

Under SB 421, political turncoatism will be “a ground for the disqualification of candidates, while parties that accept turncoats shall be disqualified from receiving the state subsidy.”
“Moreover, party members shall be required to uphold the values and ethical standards on their public lives,” Pangilinan said.

“Unless there is a clear ideological line that separates our political parties from one another and politicians are free to jump ship from one party to another out of convenience, we will be stuck in the brand of politics that is plaguing our country today,” he added.

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