Bishop hits political dynasties

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MANILA, Oct. 5, 2012— A Catholic bishop has criticized the continuing spread of political dynasties in the country, saying that these politicians are taking the country down the drain.

Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo is worried that oligarchy could worsen the problem of graft and corruption.

Noting the number of elitist political families in the lineups for the 2013 midterm elections, he said that one thing that would be imperiled is the principle of checks and balances in the government.

Auxiliary Bishop Colin Bagaforo

“It will affect the checks and balances,” Bagaforo told Catholic Church-run Radyo Veritas.

The church official added that the problem of oligarchy is a very serious concern that should be addressed.

Without a law that will prohibit political dynasties, he warned that more and more families and their family members and relatives will dominate top positions in the government.

“Other people should be given the chance (to serve) and not just some families forever and ever until kingdom come,” added Bagaforo.

“What’s wrong is that this is a big temptation to abuse power. As what they say, absolute power can corrupt you absolutely,” he said.

A civil society group has also called for an end to political dynasties, which expanded to “a higher and blatant scale, making the fair representation of the large majority of Filipinos even more [impossible].”

“What is definitely emerging as a scandalous reality is that political dynasties are more blatant and active today,” the Center for People Power Empowerment in Governance (CenPeg) said.

In next year’s senatorial race, several candidates come from famous political clans, including the brother of incumbent Senator Pia Cayetano, Alan Peter; Jinggoy Estrada and stepbrother JV Ejercito; and the son of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Jack Enrile.

At least two relatives of President Benigno Aquino III will also try their luck in the senatorial elections—his aunt Tingting Cojuangco and cousin Bam Aquino. [CBCPNews]



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