MANILA, Philippines – The Consultative Committee (Con-Com) voted to allow at most two relatives to run for a national and local or regional position in the same elections, provided that no relative of theirs is an incumbent official.
The vote, which took place on Tuesday, March 13, is part of ongoing deliberations on the provision to regulate political dynasties in the federal constitution they will propose to President Rodrigo Duterte.
A total of 12 Con-Com members voted to let two relatives within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity run in the same elections. The two persons, however, can only run for one national post and one local or regional post.
This means the two relatives cannot both seek national positions like president and vice president. They can also not both seek a local or regional post – like governor, mayor, and barangay captain.
The committee is yet to decide if it will consider senators and members of the House of Representatives as national positions.
Only 6 Con-Com members voted to allow only one person from a family to run for a government post in an election cycle.
Member Arthur Aguilar had pointed out that if this would be the case, a relative of the candidate could be enticed to file their candidacy for another position so as to disqualify the candidacy of his family member.
The 12-6 vote was the result of run-off voting after no majority was reached in an earlier voting which included a 3rd option – allowing 3 relatives to run in the same elections.
The results then was 7 votes for one person allowed to run, 8 votes for two relatives, and 3 votes for 3 relatives.
'No undue advantage'
Why allow multiple relatives to run? Wouldn’t this pave the way for a consolidation of power by one family if the two relatives end up winning?
It was discussed that the evil of “undue advantage” is absent if the two relatives are running in an elections during which no relative is holding office.
There would only be an advantage if there is an incumbent official who could use their government post and government resources to help their relatives win.
The Con-Com had previously voted to prohibit the succession of an official’s relative to the position of the official.
They had also agreed that a political family could exercise its power if two or more of its members hold positions in the same local or regional government. Such an influence would not be as pronounced if one of them held a national post while the other a local or regional post. – Rappler.com