Cotabato City—The Bangsamoro Government may be the first political entity to comply with an anti-dynasty provision of the 33-year-old Philippine Constitution.
Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, interior minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), said Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Hadji Murad Ibrahim has tasked his Cabinet to draft priority legislation for deliberation by a Transitional Parliament.
Sinarimbo said the draft Bangsamoro Local Governance Code slated to be tackled by the Parliament this month incidentally contains provisions that may match a constitutional ban on the so-called “political dynasty.”
But Sinarimbo was quick to add the proposed law is not an attempt on the part of BARMM to define “political dynasties” as mentioned in the Constitution.
He also said the regional government currently engages in dialogue with local political leaders perceived to be affected by the passage of the proposed regional law.
For purpose of administrative and political reforms, however, the draft BLGC has provisions on “additional qualifications and disqualification [grounds] in addressing election controversies as well as (issues on) succession, and filling up of (elective) vacancies,” according to a summary of the proposed code’s salient points.
“A candidate must not be within second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to any incumbent elected official in the locality where he or she seeks to be elected,” it adds.
Article II Section 26 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, says: “The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.”
Incidentally, the late Senator Jovito Salonga had filed a bill in the Senate seeking to define political dynasties, in reference to that constitutional provision. This was, however, apparently overtaken by time in the urgency of the 1992 presidential elections during the Eighth Congress.
The BARMM draft Local Governance Code also bars any elected official from opting for a lower elective position, after finishing a prescribed number of terms in office.
Such a scenario in local politics is widely familiar to voting constituents not only in BARMM, but in most other parts of the country where politics are said to have become “ties that bind” families and friends among the country’s leaders.