Congress won’t pass anti-dynasty bill
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - October 13, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Political dynasties will continue to lord it over the political landscape as the Senate and the House of Representatives will not be able to pass the anti-dynasty bill.

This despite the fact that President Aquino batted for its approval during his last State of the Nation Address on July 27.

“There will be no anti-dynasty law. There’s no more time to consider and approve it,” Senate President Franklin Drilon told ABS-CBN News Channel yesterday.

“Besides, many in Congress are against it. There’s strong opposition to it. That’s the reality of our politics,” he said.

He was apparently referring to political dynasties in both chambers of the legislature.

He said the anti-dynasty bill in the Senate is still with the committee on justice.

In the House, a counterpart measure has been in the order of business for weeks awaiting plenary consideration. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. has expressed his support for its approval.

“I am for the bill. There’s no Drilon dynasty. There is a Drilon in Iloilo who is seeking a local elective post. He is my second cousin and the anti-dynasty bill does not cover him. Relatives of incumbents up to the first-cousin degree are the ones covered,” Drilon said.

He said if Liberal Party presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II gets elected, he would suggest that Roxas push for the passage of the anti-dynasty bill.

“There is no Roxas political dynasty,” he said.

He added that if there was enough time for the outgoing Congress to tackle the bill, Aquino would be able to work for its eventual approval despite opposition from well-entrenched political families in the legislature.

“Let us not underestimate the power of the presidency,” he stressed.

He pointed out that when the President advocated the enactment of the Reproductive Health bill and the proposal to increase taxes on the so-called sin products, there was not enough support for the two controversial measures.

“Remember that these measures languished in previous Congresses for 15-16 years. It was only President Aquino, with the cooperation of the Senate and the House, who successfully worked for their enactment,” Drilon said.

He said the remaining time of the outgoing 16th Congress would be devoted to the approval of the proposed P3.002-trillion 2016 national budget and possibly the controversial draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

“I’m not sure about the BBL, but we will try to do it,” he said.

He also said he does not believe that Aquino is against moves in the House and the Senate to reduce income taxes, contrary to the claims of some presidential and vice presidential aspirants.

It was just a matter of convincing the President that the proposed reduction would not result in huge revenue losses, he stressed.

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