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Senate sets scrutiny of dynasty bill

The anti-political dynasty bill will be  taken up on Tuesday during its first hearing in the Senate, which has long been dominated by members of political clans.

The same measure is already on the plenary of  the House of Representatives, which is also packed  with  members of political dynasties.

 The Senate committee on electoral reforms and people’s participation chaired by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III will conduct its public hearing on Ejercito’s bill and two other similar bills filed by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Tuesday (May 13).

Among those invited to the first hearing are Senator Bong Revilla, president of Lakas-CMD; Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Acting Liberal Party president; former Senate President Manny Villar, Nacionalista Party president and  former Sen. Edgardo Angara, Laban ng Demokratikong Partido president.

Also invited to the Senate hearing are Comelec chairman Sixto Brillante; Gov. Alfono Umali Jr., president of the League of Provinces of the Philippine; Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, president of the League of Cities of the Philippines, and Mayor Leonardo Javier Jr. president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines.

Senator Francis Escudero said he would not block the anti-dynasty bill because he came from that situation since his father, the late Salvador Escudero, was a  congressman in the same district (Sorsogon) where he also served as member of the House.

“But I will vote in favor of it because if all the dynasts here in the Senate will inhibit, there might not be enough senators to approve it.

His only question right now, Escudero said, involved the kind of dynasty bill.

“I  saw the version of the House. For example, if both siblings run, they will be disqualified. What if one runs for President like Pnoy and one of his siblings, which he cannot stop runs for a  different position? The two will be disqualified? If one is disqualified, who will be disqualified? Who gets to decide who will be disqualified? What if you have a cousin within the 4th civil degree who suddenly run for barangay captain in  Davao because they migrated there, and you decided to run for senator, and you were  not aware of his plan, how would that be? There must be safeguards against those kinds of situations,” said Escudero.

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