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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Carpio, 1Sambayan and political dynasties

"They want voters to think that the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte must be replaced with their political  party’s “upright” way of running things." 

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Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, one of the three elderly founders of the so-called 1Sambayan political party, which touts itself as the opposition party in the coming national elections, likes to portray himself as a political moralist.  

In establishing 1Sambayan with Noynoy Aquino-era Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Carpio and his allies want the voters to think that the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte must be replaced with their political party’s “upright” way of running things.  

That jaundiced view is shared by Vice President Leni Robredo, the irrelevant government official who lives in a luxurious mansion in the posh New Manila district of Quezon City paid for by taxpayers’ money.

One of their potential allies, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, even took a potshot at the idea of President Duterte running for vice president in the coming polls.

So far, Carpio appears to be the de facto titular head of 1Sambayan.  Being so, what Carpio is all about happens to be what his political party is all about.

Carpio’s 1Sambayan is displeased with and afraid of the prospect of a “Sara Duterte for President and Rodrigo Duterte for Vice President” ticket in the coming elections.  As expected, this upstart political party says that the Duterte family is determined to establish themselves as a political dynasty.

Before Carpio and his 1Sambayan start expounding on that accusation, they ought to engage in some stocktaking first.

Section 26, Article II of the Constitution denounces political dynasties in the public service, and obliges Congress, as a duty and not as a discretion, to define what constitutes political dynasties.  To date, Congress has reneged on that obligation.  The political dynasties controlling Congress, after all, cannot be expected to legislate themselves out of existence.  

In a decision promulgated in 1997, the Supreme Court en banc categorically declared that the inaction of any branch of the national government on a constitutional mandate should not hostage the rest of the government.  

Then there is Section 2, Article IX of the Constitution which empowers the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to enforce all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of elections, and to decide all questions affecting elections, except those issues involving the right to vote.  

Applying both the above-cited decision of the Supreme Court and provision of the Constitution, I posited that since Congress inexcusably refuses to carry out its constitutional mandate to define political dynasties, then it becomes incumbent upon the Comelec to carry out the constitutional imperative against political dynasties, by defining what a political dynasty is, and by banning them from participating in any election.  

In 2012, I filed a petition for mandamus in the Supreme Court for the purpose of compelling the Comelec to carry out the constitutional ban against political dynasties. I cited the 1997 ruling of the Supreme Court and the power of the Comelec to enforce election rules and to decide election issues.  At that time, Carpio was still a member of the Supreme Court.  

Sadly, the Supreme Court en banc dismissed my petition on the ground that the power to define and outlaw political dynasties rests in Congress, and not in the Comelec.

The dismissal came in the form of a minute resolution.  The Supreme Court did not bother to discuss the arguments I raised.  A year later, the Supreme Court dismissed my motion for reconsideration.

Since the Supreme Court never bothered to discuss my arguments in support of my petition for mandamus, this may be the right time for Carpio to explain why his Court refused to tackle my arguments.  

So before Carpio’s 1Sambayan starts calling the Duterte tandem a step towards the establishment of a political dynasty, its titular head should start explaining to the public what happened in my petition.   

That’s not all.

If 1Sambayan is truthfully against political dynasties, then it should explain why it is considering recruiting Senator Nancy Binay to its wings.  

Senator Binay is a member of the Binay political dynasty which has dominated Makati city politics since 1986.  Except for a very brief period, the position of city mayor has been held by a member of the family—the father Jejomar Binay, his wife Elenita, his son Jun-Jun, and his daughter Abigail.  The elder Binay was Vice President from 2010 to 2016.  This family has all the badges of a political dynasty, and it has made Makati city politics its cottage industry.     

Look through Carpio’s and 1Sambayan’s charade and behold that 1Sambayan is a party of political opportunists that shamelessly foists issues to serve its proponents’ hunger for power.    


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