SENATE Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon on Monday proposed that a provision that will prohibit political dynasties be included in the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
“In the Committee Report, I will push for the inclusion of a prohibition on political dynasties. I am open to discuss the extent of the prohibition, but the anti-dynasty principle must be embodied in the BBL,” Drilon said.
“The policy of anti-political dynasty must be put across. We should not sweep it under the rug. It is an issue that must be confronted,” said Drilon during a Senate hearing on the proposed measure that seeks to establish a Bangsamoro region replacing the current Autonomous Region of Muslim Midanano (ARMM).
Similarly, Drilon had earlier pushed for a provision that seeks to develop a strong political party system “that is essential in a parliamentary system of government.”
Drilon said that the crafting of the Bangsamoro Basic law offers an opportunity “for Congress to correct certain issues which stand in the way of moving democracy forward, particularly in the ARMM,” referring to the well-entrenched political dynasties and weak political party system in the ARMM and the country, in general.
Majority of the resource persons of the sub-committee agreed with Drilon’s proposal including Former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., who said: “I agree with you, Senator Drilon…Perhaps it is now high time to exercise some kind of political will, make it model providing for an anti-political dynasty provision. I think that will be a good step forward.”
Citing the passage of an anti-political dynasty provision in the Sanggunian Kabataan Reform Act in the last Congress, the minority leader believes “that it is highly possible that the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law would contain the same provision.”
“This is not something that we have not done yet. As a matter of policy, I think there is no debate that we should adopt an anti-political dynasty provision,” Drilon said.
He added: “It may not be perfect and it may not be to the liking of the people in the ARMM, but if you look at it objectively you will come to the conclusion that it is a step in the right direction and it is a fair and necessary provision in order that we can finally bring lasting and meaningful reforms and development in Mindanao.”
Responding to suggestions to leave the matter to the Bangsamoro parliament, Drilon said: “I am afraid that if we leave it as is, I don’t think the Bangsamoro parliament will ever do it.”
Drilon is the author of Senate Bill No. 230 or the Anti-Political Dynasty Act that seeks to provide for an enabling law that will implement the provision of the Constitution prohibiting political dynasty. p: wjg