Father and Son To The Philippine Senate
Article II, Section 26 of the Philippine Constitution, states that "the state shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as maybe defined by law." This is one basic and principal provision in the constitution that the Philippines top government officials in both legislative and executive departments are mocking. They are joking themselves and the Filipino people.
This provision on political dynasty is provided in the 1987 constitution, but after 20 years and until today, no law is passed that will define what animal political dynasty is. Senator Pimentel has stayed long in the senate and the senate president Manuel Villar never bothered to file a bill on political dynasty. And worst for they didn’t mind any bill that has been filed in the legislature on the matter.
Now, Pimentel’s son is a candidate for senator and if his son wins, there will be father and son among the 24 member Philippine Senate beginning July 2007. Pia Cayetano is now a senator. Her brother is a candidate for senator. If his brother won, there will be sister and brother in the Philippine Senate beginning July 2007. However, before Pia, their late father, Compañero Cayetano was a senator for two terms. Among the batch of candidates for the May 14, 2007 elections are auntie and nephew. If both of them won in the election, there will be auntie and nephew in the Philippine Senate effective July 2007. This will make the Philippines Senate "Senado Ng Mga Kamag Anak." This is a loud and clear violation of Article II, Section 26 of the Philippine Constitution. Worst for this act deprives other Filipinos access to opportunities for public service.
Are these few the only families which possess talents, brilliance and skills in governance while other Filipinos do not have and therefore just stay by the roadside and watch Pimentel, Cayetano, Aquino, Villar and Angara deprive Filipinos to serve their people? Angara’s wife is Governor of Aurora, while Villar’s wife is congresswoman of his district. Sen. Ralph Recto also fields his wife, Vilma Governor and his brother Ricky Congressman both in Batangas.
Look at Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. She won in a presidential election via the "Hello Garci" tape, therefore she is now in Malacañang. Her son is a congressman of Pampanga. In addition, she exported another son to Camarines Sur and now a candidate for congressman of that province. Moreover, her brother in law, Iggy Arroyo, who has an estranged wife, is now a congressman of Negros Occidental and seeking reelection. This is political dynasty in the lowest common term understandable to the Filipino people. What a shame!
This is greed of power which deprives other Filipinos of and with equal if not superior leadership capabilities to serve the people.
AKLAN STYLE DYNASTY
Political Dynasty is not confined to other places. Aklan has its own and it could even be said to be advanced and in style political dynasty.
Let us visit the beautiful town of Ibajay. Today, two brothers are elective officials and they both will seek reelection: one for Mayor and the other for Sangguniang Panlalawigan member. This May 14, 2007 election, the wife is a candidate for Governor of Aklan. Should all of them won in the election, there will be four of them in the top Aklan elected officials that will include their uncle who is also seeking reelection for congressman.
One remedy to give equal chance to others to provide access to public service is the provision in the constitution limiting the terms of local officials for three terms, each term of which is for three years.
But the mayors are stylist and innovative. After some mayors completed their nine years, they have fielded their respective wives. You can find this style in the towns of Batan, Altavas, Numancia, and Buruanga. With this style, the mayorship of a municipality becomes a conjugal property with the consent of the voters. Should the spouses won, the family retains the power.
Voters, will you be instruments so that government elective positions in all levels of the government are transformed into conjugal properties?
Mayor Edmund Peralta of New Washington will properly turn over the Office of the Mayor to the duly elected mayor of New Washington after the end of his term on June 30, 2007. He deserves our salute even though he also fielded his brother as heir apparent to the position of mayor. He is also a candidate for SP member, Eastern Aklan.
Atty. Allen S. Quimpo is the man to be congratulated for after his full three terms as congressman of Aklan, he sincerely supported congressman Joeben T. Miraflores for the position. Atty. Allen S. Quimpo did not exhibit any indication to support his nearest kin for congressman. Furthermore, he refused all offers for nomination to any office he may choose. Instead, he went back to business though he accepted to be the Executive Director of the Aklan Rivers System Development project.
Will you allow political dynasty to prevail so that the equally deserving Filipinos are deprived access to public service? /MP