MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Francis Pangilinan should challenge his fellow lawmakers to pass the anti-political dynasty bill, Malacañang said Tueaday, after the opposition senator dared President Rodrigo Duterte to certify the measure as urgent.
Certifying a bill as urgent allows Congress to pass a measure on second and third reading on the same day and is a clear indicator that the Palace wants it passed.
"Parang mali po iyong pag-hamon niya kasi ang pagpapasa po ng batas ay isang katungkulan ng lehislatibo (I think he is challenging the wrong person because the passage of laws is the job of the legislature)," presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing.
"Kinakailangan po siguro hamunin niya iyong mga kasama niya sa Senado at sa Kamara na ipasa iyang batas na iyan (He has to challenge his colleagues in the Senate and the House to pass that bill)," he added.
Last week, Duterte claimed he was able to dismantle oligarchy without placing the country under martial law. While Roque had claimed that Duterte was referring to tycoon Lucio Tan and water concessionaires, a leaked audio recording revealed that the president was assailing ABS-CBN when he was talking about oligarchs.
Reacting to Duterte's diatribes, Pangilinan challenged the president to certify as urgent a bill prohibiting political dynasties so it would move in Congress.
He also shared Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon’s view that prohibiting political dynasties would effectively remove the oligarchs in the country. An oligarchy, Pangilinan said, is "usually characterized by the control of one family and transfer of power from one generation to the next."
"As wealth means power and political control, the political elites in the country perpetuate themselves by means of political dynasties," Pangilinan said in a statement issued last Sunday.
"Three decades later and despite numerous attempts to enact such legislation, there is still no enabling law prohibiting political dynasties in the country," he added.
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