Palace to Pangilinan: It’s Congress’ job to pass laws

Malacañang on Tuesday, July 21, reminded Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan that passing a legislation that will ban political dynasties is the job of Congress, not President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Parang mali po yung paghamon niya kasi ang pagpapasa po ng batas ay isang katungkulan ng lehisletibo (I think he’s challenging the wrong branch of government because passing new laws is the duty of the legislative),” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in a virtual press briefing.

According to him, Pangilinan should be challenging his fellow lawmakers instead.
“Kinakailangan po siguro hamunin niya yung mga kasama niya sa Senado at sa mga Kamara na ipasa ang batas na ‘yan (I think he needs to challenge his colleagues in the Senate and House to pass that law),” Roque said.

Pangilinan on Sunday challenged Duterte to certify as urgent the anti-political dynasty bill to prove his desire to dismantle oligarchy in the country.

This came after Duterte, in a July 13 speech in Jolo, Sulu, claimed that he has “dismantled the oligarchy” that controlled the progress of the country’s politics and economy without declaring martial law.

“We challenge this administration to make a difference and certify the anti-political dynasty bill as urgent, so that it will move in Congress,” Pangilinan said.

In July 2019, Pangilinan filed Senate Bill 264 defining and prohibiting political dynasties. However, he noted that the bill has “hardly moved.”

Pangilinan also said that Congress has the constitutional duty to enact a law defining and prohibiting the establishment of political dynasties in accordance with the intent of Section 26, Article 2 of the 1987 Constitution.

“Three decades later and despite numerous attempts to enact such legislation, there is still no enabling law prohibiting political dynasties in the country. Thus, its existence has undermined the checks and balance in government, weakened the competition in the political system, resulting in less access for alternative leaders to be part of the political arena, and perpetuated personality-based politics by prompting politicians to invest in their relatives,” the opposition senator said in his bill.

Duterte, for his part, had previously said that he was for a ban on political dynasties, but pointed out that political families tend to stay in power due to voters who keep on supporting them.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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