Concom votes to allow only two relatives to run in the same elections

Former chief justice Reynato Puno, center, at a Concom discussion session. Photographed by Bernard Testa, News5 | InterAksyon

The Consultative Committee (Concom) tasked by President Rodrigo Duterte to review the 1987 Constitution on Tuesday voted to allow only two relatives within the second degree of consanguinity and affinity to run in the same elections. However, they can only run for one national post and one local position.

Political science professor Julio Teehankee of the De La Salle University, who is also the chairman of the subcommittee on political reform, said they devoted a large part of an over two-hour discussion in addressing multiple candidacies and multiple officials holding elected positions.

“So this is quite complicated especially if there is no incumbent because who will be the reference point for the ban?” Teehankee told reporters.

Last Monday, the Concom voted to regulate political dynasties instead of banning them, and to prohibit any relative within the second degree of consanguinity and affinity of the incumbent President or the Vice President to succeed him or her.

“So (today) we have come to the conclusion that we must first address how many candidates should be allowed to run and then we decided to limit it to two: one national and the other for regional or for local with the option of which position,” Teehankee said.

He added that the committee has decided to leave to Congress whether to extend the prohibition up to the third or fourth degree of consanguinity and affinity “but may not reduce the same.”

“At least for the Concom, we have done our part and we have crafted I believe the most reasonable and workable anti-dynasty provision that this country has been waiting for 32 years,” he said.

Concom chairperson and former Chief Justice Reynato Puno on Monday explained the need to regulate political dynasties in a federal government.

“Napaka-importante nito dahil kapag nag-federalize tayo ay marami tayong mga kapangyarihan na ibibigay sa mga constituent units… doon sa mga states or regions, kung tatawagin natin itong regions. Hindi natin pwedeng ibigay ang kapangyarihan doon kung itong mga units na ito ay pinamumugaran ng mga political dynasties (This is very important because if we federalize, we will give so much power to the constituent units… to the states or regions, if we will indeed call them regions. We cannot give power to them if these units are infested by political dynasties),” he said.

The Concom will make its recommendations to Duterte in time for his State of the Nation Address in July.