Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Friday admitted that only a law banning political dynasty would prevent the so-called “family affairs” governance in various elective posts.
Arroyo said the absence of a law on this rendered government helpless from preventing close family members from running for different positions.
“Until such time that there would be a law defining what political dynasty is, we would not be able to check the practice,” Arroyo told reporters in an ambush interview Friday during an inspection of a retaining wall project in Sasmuan, Pampanga.
“Well, like any political activity, there are things positive, and there are things negative about the issue. Nothing is totally good or totally bad,” Arroyo added, replying to a question if political dynasty is good for the country.
Earlier, lawmakers said criticisms that the family of President Rodrigo Duterte had been building a political dynasty should be best left to the sound discretion of the electorate.
Representatives Manny Lopez of Manila and Alfredo Garbin of Ako-Bicol Party-list defended President Duterte’s family from criticisms of having too many members running for public office in next year’s midterm poll.
They said the issue of so-called political dynasty would not mattet as long as their leaders were responsive to the needs of their people.
Past and present Congresses were composed of family members serving in the same Congress like husband and wife, uncle and nephews, parent and offspring like former Senators 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.
Also members of the 17th Congress are husband and wife: Sultan Kudarat Rep. Horacio Suansing and Nueva Ecija Rep. Rep. Estrellita Suansing.