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CBCP supports people’s initiative to pass anti-dynasty bill

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president Archbishop Jose Palma (center) answers questions from the media during a forum in Manila yesterday. EDD GUMBAN

MANILA, Philippines - The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) supports efforts for a people’s initiative to put an end to political dynasties.

In a four-page pastoral statement issued after its 106th Plenary Assembly, the CBCP listed “the widening practice of political dynasties” as among the problems the country is facing.

CBCP president Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said they denounce the continued existence of political dynasties and the delay in the passage of a law that prohibits them.

“As monopolies in business, monopolies in politics limit the entry that can bring in new ideas and offer better services. Political dynasties breed corruption and ineptitude. We are aggrieved that lawmakers themselves defy the supreme law of the land by not following the mandate of our Constitution given 26 years ago to make an enabling law to ban political dynasties,” said the CBCP.

It added that the Catholic Church believes that “political authority exists for the common good” and “should not be exercised for the sake of private and family interests.”

Political dynasties breed corruption and inhibit general access to political power, which is a fundamental mark of democracy, it added.

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“If Congress is unwilling to act on this, we support initiatives by the lay faithful to pass an enabling law against political dynasties through the people’s initiative which the Constitution provides,” the CBCP said.

Palma said lack of time during the plenary assembly prevented them from finalizing their plans for a people’s initiative.

“We just raised the issue and let the people think about it,” he said.

On the latest Social Weather Stations survey, which showed that senatorial candidates from political dynasties are leading the race, Palma said surveys sometimes merely set a trend.

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