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Political dynasties are not all bad, senatorial bets say


With a signature campaign against political dynasties set to be launched next month, a couple of political scions—both running for senator in the upcoming elections—defended them, saying they are not always a bad thing. "There are good dynasties and there are bad dynasties. There are some dynasties that use their clout to protect their business interests. But there are also some dynasties that have really served our country very well," Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay said during the second episode of “Hiritan 2013,” the election series of GMA News' “Unang Hirit" on Wednesday. Similarly, Bam Aquino said some not all political dynasties are the same. "Sana kakayanin ng taong bayan na piliin sino ba 'yung mga taong dapat wala na diyan sa poder, dapat tinatanggal na natin, at sino yung mga tao na talaga namang magibibigay ng kanilang sarili at ang kanilang lakas para sa ating bayan," he told resident analyst and economist Winnie Monsod. Aquino denied that his similarities to his uncle, Benigno Aquino, are part of his campaign strategy. "Ever since Grade 6 ako, eto na po yung mukha natin. 'Di po natin ginagaya ang ating Tito Ninoy kahit po yung salamin, ganito na rin 'yan," he said. While Magsaysay admitted her name may have helped her win in her district, she said she has since proven her worth as a congresswoman. She added that there is no conflict between her and her uncle, Jun Magsaysay, who is also running for senator in the 2013 elections. Asked whether she would support an anti-dynasty bill or not, Magsaysay said it would depend on what is put in the bill itself. "I want to be realistic. Kung kaming mga senador at congressman ang sasabihan niyo na magpasa ng batas, sa tingin ko hindi papasa yan. Pero sa tingin ko ang dapat gawin natin, irepaso natin ang Constitution natin. Dapat ibang tao ang magpasa ng anti-dynasty law natin. It should be enshrined in the Constitution," she said. JC Delos Reyes said the anti-political dynasty bill is among his priorities, should he win as senator. "Kapag ako po ay nahalal bilang senador ng Republika ng Pilipinas, ang gagawin ko po ay isusulong ko kaagad yung political dynasty bill na ang dami-daming version, pati si Teddy [Casiño] may version. At talagang ipipilit namin 'yun." Delos Reyes is running under Ang Kapatiran Party, which is spearheading the anti-dynasty signature campaign to be launched in February. House Bill 3413, which was filed by Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño, is one of several pending bills on political dynasties. According to Casiño, the bill seeks to define what a political dynasty is. "Nasa Konstitusyon 'yan na bawal ang political dynasty. Gumagawa lang tayo ng batas to define what political dynasty is," he said in a previous report. Aquino said he is in favor of defining what a political dynasty is. "Kung tutuusin, si Senator Miriam naghain ng isang anti-dynasty bill na kung saan 'yung dynasty ay tatay, anak, nanay, tatay, anak, magkapatid. It's time that we define what is a dynasty at gawin natin 'yung na sa Constitution," he said. The Constitution provides that the State "shall prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law," but Congress has yet to pass an enabling law defining the term "political dynasty." Earlier this month, the Supreme Court junked a petition to bar members of political dynasties from running in the 2013 elections. — Carmela G. Lapeña/BM, GMA News
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