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Marcos Jr. on political dynasties: 'You can't stop people from wanting to serve.'

By NICK GARCIA Published Mar 18, 2022 4:08 pm

Sharing his thoughts on political dynasties, presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. insisted that politicians cannot be stopped from "wanting to serve" even if they're from the same household.

During the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum last March 16, The Philippine STAR associate editor Marichu Villanueva asked Marcos Jr. about a would-be Marcos political dynasty in the national government.

Bongbong's sister Imee is an incumbent senator, while his son Sandro is running for a congressional seat for Ilocos Norte's 1st District.

"You cannot stop people from wanting to serve," Marcos Jr. said at the 1:08:01 mark. "Imee wants to serve. I want to serve. Sandro, my son, wants to serve. What would I tell them, ‘No, don’t help’?" as he started chuckling.

"Kung binoto naman ng tao, e di they deserve to be in wherever they are," he added.

Marcos Jr. also pointed out that the whole concept of political dynasties has not been "properly defined" by the 1987 Constitution.

Under Article II Section 26, "The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law."

Since 2019, House Bill Nos. 110, 145, 252, 395, 1978, and 3149—which define and prohibit the establishment of political dynasties—have been in limbo in Congress. In the upper chamber, Senate Bill Nos. 11, 30, 264, and 1480 have also been on the backburner.

In House Bill No. 110 filed by Agusan del Norte 1st District Rep. Lawrence Fortun, political dynasty uses as basis being the spouse of an incumbent elective official or a relative within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity. If at least two individuals hold office and/or run simultaneously within the same province or occupy the same office immediately after the previous term, then there's political dynasty. If an official is holding national office, relatives are automatically disqualified from running.

In any case, Marcos Jr. said the elections are a "very good system" to "mitigate the overstaying" of political families in government. He also pinned the blame on term limits of elected officials under the 1987 Constitution.

Senators can serve for six years with one re-election and cannot serve for over two consecutive terms. Members of the House of Representatives, meanwhile, are allowed up to three consecutive terms of three years each. 

The same term limit for House members applies to local elected officials under the Local Government Code of 1991.

“That plays a large part of it," Marcos Jr. said. "Even people have been talking recently and I happen to agree about how the party-list system has been abused."

"We have to look at the unintended consequences of some of the provisions in the Constitution," said Marcos Jr., who failed to mention in the interview how he'd address the issue should he become president.

Marcos Jr. is following the footsteps of his late father Ferdinand Marcos, who was booted out of government through the EDSA People Power Revolution after holding on to power for two decades with wife Imelda Marcos via the so-called "conjugal dictatorship."