Issue better resolved by electorate -- lawmakers.
CRITICISMS that the family of President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte has been 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.
In separate interviews, 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.
“Real power emanates from the people. For as long as the sovereign will of the people is not subverted, wala tayong magagawa diyan!” Lopez pointed out.
“Let these observations be an election issue and submit the same to our electorate,” said Batocabe, president of the Party List Coalition (PLC), adding that voters usually pick their leaders because of the brand of public service they have been showing and delivering during their incumbencies.
Garbin said “these are all elected in a democratic process so you cannot blame them.”
“I think what we should do is to empower the electorate by providing them an informed choice and amend the Constitution to return to the two party system,” Garbin suggested.
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 like husband and wife, uncle and nephews, parent and offspring like former Sens. Loi Estrada and Jinggoy Estrada, and siblings.
During the 15th Congress, former Deputy Speaker and Cebu Rep. Pablo Garcia and son, former Cebu Rep. Pablo John Garcia, served at the same time.
Earlier, resigned Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said there is nothing illegal and immoral with him and his wife, incumbent Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano, running together for seats, of Taguig City, respectively, in the House of Representatives.
This 17th Congress, there is also a case of brother and sister in the situation of Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and Mata party-list Rep. Tricia Velasco-Catera.
Also members of the 17th Congress are husband and wife: Sultan Kudarat Rep. Horacio Suansing and Nueva Ecija Rep. Rep. Estrellita Suansing.