SURIGAO del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers on Sunday supported a proposal of the 25-member consultative committee led by retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno to adopt provisions in the Charter eradicating political turncoatism.
“The rampant party-switching of politicians undermines democracy and brings confusion to the people,” he said.
“Political turncoats or butterflies fly from one party to another whenever it’s favorable. They are like chameleons that change colors from time to time for survival,” he added.
Barbers earlier filed House Bill No. 7431 or the “Anti-Political Turncoatism Act” seeking to put an end to such practice and penalize turncoats to restore the integrity of the party system.
Barbers’ bill and Con-Com’s proposal similarly provide that no elected public official may change his political party affiliation during his term of office.
Barbers measure bans a candidate for any elective public office to change his political party affiliation within one year immediately preceding an election, and one year following such election in which he participated but lost.
On the other hand, Con-Com provides “any candidate for public office or any official of a political party is prohibited from changing political parties within two years immediately after an election and two years before the succeeding election.
“HB 7431 applies to all elective government officials and shall likewise apply to independent and party-list candidates who, after participating in an election, shall join any political party within a period of one year following such election regardless whether he won or lost,” Barbers said.