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Drilon dares Duterte to push anti-dynasty law to dismantle oligarchy

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Wednesday said President Rodrigo Duterte could encourage Congress to pass the anti-dynasty law to effectively dismantle oligarchy in the Philippines.

"With the popularity rating of the President, he has the capacity to push that in Congress," Drilon said in a virtual Kapihan sa Manila Bay.

Asked if he thinks Duterte would back this measure given that his children—House Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, and Vice Mayor Baste Duterte—are also holding positions in the government, the senator said the President must go beyond that fact if he is really resolute in dismantling oligarchy.

"When you want to remove oligarchy as a power structure then you should rise above all of these," he said.

Duterte, during a televised speech aired on Tuesday, boasted of being able to "dismantle" oligarchy even without declaring martial law.

Even though an "unedited" version of the said speech surfaced, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque insisted that Duterte was not referring to ABS-CBN Corporation—which has recently been denied franchise by the House of Representatives.

He said Duterte was referring to tycoon Lucio Tan, the Ayalas and Manuel V. Pangilinan whom Duterte have locked horns with in the past.

Drilon stressed that simply being rich is not equivalent to being an oligarch.

"Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people which use their power to seek personal gain or benefit their business interests," Drilon said.

"To emphasize, you cannot equate rich and oligarch, meaning it does not mean that if you are rich, you are on oligarch. An oligarch is the one that influences the decision of the government or the one using their [riches] in order that the policy that they want will be pursued," he added.

The minority leader emphasized that political dynasties will continue to nurture oligarchy in the Philippines.

"The lack of an anti-dynasty system or provision in our system would allow oligarchy to continue," he said.

At least two anti-dynasty bills have been filed in the Senate under the 18th Congress.

Drilon said he is willing to sit down with any designated official of the administration to scrutinize which laws can further be enacted or amended to minimize, if not remove, the opportunities that oligarchs may use to prosper.—AOL, GMA News