“Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others. It is not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed.”
Today, being in politics does not only mean serving the public. When we say politics, we mean money, greed and corruption.
Almost two years now, a bill that would prohibit the establishment of political dynasties in the nation was filed by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. It is known as Senate Bill (SB) 2649 or The Anti-Political Dynasty Act.
SB 2649 states that political dynasty “shall exist when a person who is the spouse of an incumbent elective official or relative within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity of an incumbent elective official holds or runs for an elective office simultaneously with the incumbent elective official within the same province or occupies the same office immediately after the term of office of the incumbent official.”
Furthermore the bill states that “It shall also be deemed to exist where two or more persons who are spouses or are related within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity run simultaneously for elective public office within the same province, even if neither is so related to an elective official.”
Prior the filing of SB 2649, bills of the same subject were filed by some officials. In 2004, Sen. Alfredo Lim filed SB 1317 while Senator Panfilo Lacson filed SB 1468 in 2007. In the Lower House, Rep. Teddy Casino also filed House Bill-2493 in 2007. However, due to lack of support from the congress, the bills failed to be further deliberated.
This failure was due to the fact that the members of the congress themselves are members of political dynasties. According to a 2007 GMA News Research, at least 76% of the legislators in the 14th Congress of the Philippines came from politically active families.
And what would we expect from these politicians who are part of politically powerful and wealthy families?
Voting yes for the passage of the bill is like a suicidal move to them. It’s like shooting their own head with a shotgun and betraying their whole clan.
The growing number of dynasties indicates that politicians are hurrying to put the members of their family in positions before this political practice is prohibited by law.
When asked, majority of politicians would answer that their strong desire to serve the public is their reason for entering politics. But can’t they help the masses without being an elected official? So, what could possibly be the reason why they aimed for such position?
There are many and more conclusions that we can draw from their attempts to take over said positions—monopoly and power are just some.
Majority of the members of politically powerful families undoubtedly enter politics, not merely to serve but to control and dominate the public resources.
Elected officials enjoy solicited and unsolicited privileges. This political treats widen throughout the course of their term. Their power and influences provide them with pleasures and luxuries, thereby overlooking the purpose of public service.
The rich becomes richer and the poor becomes poorer.
They are indeed multiplying rapidly and an immediate resolution is needed. But is there really a solution to this issue?
The answer is YES. Those who uphold and comprise political dynasties did not make the political dynasties. Instead, the public created political dynasties. Thus, the power to end them is in the hands of those who started it.
A very practical way to free ourselves from the unobstructed political families is by not voting any member of politically empowered families in the 2013 elections and onwards. Only after the elimination of political dynasties can we achieve real transparency in government.
Supporting the anti- political dynasty movement established by Ricardo Penson, an independent senatorial candidate is just. The movement could become a significant instrument with the support of the youth and every Filipinos.
We are a free country. We can do what we want. We can always do everything to make hopeless resolve a hopeful one.
Otherwise, political dynasties are here to stay.
Abygale A. Bagadiong