SPEAKER Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday said that only a law banning political dynasties can prevent the so-called “family affairs” governance in various elective posts.
Arroyo said the government is helpless in preventing close family members from running for different positions.
“Well, hanggang magkaroon ng batas na dine-define ang political dynasty, doon lang tayo pwede gumawa ng hakbang para sumunod sa batas,” Arroyo told reporters in an ambush interview yesterday during an inspection of a retaining wall project in Sasmuan, Pampanga.
“Well, like any political activity, may maganda, may hindi maganda. Like any issue, wala namang totally good or totally bad,” Arroyo added when asked if political dynasty is good for the country.
Earlier, lawmakers stressed that criticisms that the family of President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte is building a political dynasty should be best left to the sound discretion of the electorate, adding that close family members such as husband and wife tandem serving in Congress at the same time is no longer new.
Manila City Rep. Manny Lopez and Ako Bicol party-list Reps. Rodel Batocabe and Alfredo Garbin defended President Duterte’s family from condemnation over having too many members running for public office in next year’s midterm poll.
The lawmakers said voters usually pick their leaders because of the brand of public service they have been showing and delivering during their incumbencies and are elected in a democratic process.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio shrugged off criticisms that her family has been promoting political dynasty after she sought reelection while her brother, former Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte will run as the city’s first district representative, and her youngest brother, Sebastian Duterte, filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for vice mayor.
Past and present Congresses witnessed the presence of family members serving in the same Congress including husband and wife, uncle and nephews, parent and offspring like former Sens. Loi Estrada and Jinggoy Estrada, and siblings.