Published on 29 October 2012
Written by JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA REPORTER
SENATE President Juan Ponce Enrile on Sunday said that he is willing to support the measure against political dynasties and will vacate his seat in the Senate if the bill is passed so that his son can stay on in Congress.
Enrile, who has been criticized for allowing his son, Rep. Juan Castañer “Jack” Ponce Enrile Jr. of Cagayan province to run for senator next year, said that it is the people who will decide if his son has the right to be a part of the Senate.
He said that if the anti-political dynasty measure is approved, he will resign as senator to give way to his son.
“I cannot be an obstacle to my son . . . alam ko naman kaya niya yun [I know that he can do it],” Enrile said in a radio interview aired over DzBB.
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago last year filed Senate Bill 2649 or the Anti-political Dynasty Act seeking to ban spouses and persons related within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity, whether legitimate or illegitimate, to an incumbent elective official seeking re-election, from running to any elective office in the same province in the same election.
However, Santiago’s measure only covers political families running in the local election and does not include those seeking national posts.
Several lawmakers had expressed the desire to expand the scope of the bill to include family members of incumbent officials holding national posts.
Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said that expanding the scope of the anti-political dynasty measure could strengthen the constitutional provision against political dynasties.
Enrile said that he will support the bill if it will be applied to everyone.
The Senate president said earlier that there is nothing wrong with political dynasties because candidates are chosen by the people based on their performance, not because of their family name.
Apart from the younger Enrile, other candidates who come from political clans are Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino 4th and Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco, cousin and aunt of President Benigno Aquino 3rd, respectively; Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, half brother of Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada; Ma. Lourdes Nancy Binay, daughter of vice president Jejomar Binay; Cynthia Villar, wife of Sen. Manuel “Manny” Villar Jr.; Rep. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara of Aurora province, son of Sen. Edgardo Angara and re-electionist Alan Peter Cayetano, brother of Sen. Pia Cayetano.