Fact Check: Political dynasties and dynastic candidates

by Dr. Nicole Curato

All candidates in last night’s Harapan senatorial debates expressed support for an anti-dynasty bill, including “dynastic candidates” from Team PNoy such as Koko Pimentel, Jun Magsaysay and Bam Aquino.

Jun Magsaysay has been consistent with his stand on the subject. In various interviews and fora, Magsaysay has pushed for the passage of an anti-dynasty bill in the 16th Congress. The same is true for Koko Pimentel, who, in another forum, claimed that he is “80-90% ready” to pass an anti-dynasty bill. 

Bam Aquino, on the other hand, considers the bill important to clarify the rules for candidates like him who are related to public officials. He made the same stand in another election forum in UP. In his earlier statements, however, Aquino refused to consider himself as party of a political dynasty but a member of family that is into public service.

In spite of the candidates’ consensus on legislating against political dynasties, only Casiño has actually filed an anti-dynasty bill based on Congress and Senate records.

Magsaysay claimed that he co-authored an anti-dynasty bill during his term in the Senate but none of the Senate records support this.  Among the Senators that have introduced bills against dynasties are: Teofisto Guingona, Jr (SBN 82, 8th Congress),  Orlando Mercado (SBN 599 in 10th Congress, SBN 146 in 11th Congress), Sergio Osmeña (SBN 341, 12th Congress), Juan Flavier (SBN 12, 13th Congress), Alfredo Lim (SBN 1317, 13th Congress), Panfilo Lacson (SB 1468, 14th Congress) and Miriam Defensor-Santiago (SBN 1904, 13th Congress; SBN 2649, 15th Congress).

Nicole Curato is a sociologist. She currently holds the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Early Career Research Award at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy & Global Governance in Canberra.

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