June 14, 2012
PASS ANTI-BALIMBING LAW FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE, URGES ANGARA
The "Anti-Balimbing Act" is vital to promoting a mature democracy and is aligned with the good governance thrust of the administration, said Senator Edgardo J. Angara in an interview earlier today.
"Magulo ang party system natin dito sa Pilipinas. Even with a multi-party system like ours, it is possible to have alliances so that ultimately, only two teams are facing off. We should have political parties with clear ideals, programs and platforms that we can weigh instead of just choosing the most popular candidate," said Angara.
The Political Party Development Act (Senate Bill No. 3214) seeks to institutionalize a strong party system in the country and promote transparency in campaign financing. It will establish a Party Development Fund which will supplement the operating funds of accredited political parties for party development and campaign expenditures.
Political parties will be accredited based on the following criteria: political representation, organizational strength and mobilization capability, and performance and track record of the party.
According to the veteran legislator, one of the important features of this measure is the provision penalizing political turncoatism, or changing one's party affiliation after being elected on that ticket.
Once this measure is passed, political turncoats would be prohibited from running for any position in the following elections, and will be disqualified from appointment to any public office for three years after the expiration of their term.
They will also be be disqualified from holding any administrative or executive position in the new party, and will be directed to refund all amounts received from the previous party.
"Political parties and candidates should grow together in terms of crafting a vision and building a platform," said Angara.
"Candidate should have conviction because that will reflect on how they will lead once elected. Disciplined and loyal candidates are the mark of a mature democracy," he stressed.
However, Angara explained that this provision may still be refined to incorporate a transition period after the bill is enacted.
"This proposal I co-authored with Sen. Jinggoy Estrada has been pending in the Senate for the past three Congresses. I am hopeful that this measure will finally be approved when Congress reopens in July," explained Angara.
He continued, "Having strong, platform-based political parties will certainly contribute toward promoting transparency in governance, especially when it comes to campaign financing.
Angara and Estrada authored their own versions of the The Political Party Development Act (Senate Bill Nos. 51 and 607, respectively). These measures have been consolidated into SBN 3214 under Committee Report No, 164, which will be sponsored by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Chair of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments, Revision of Codes and Laws.
SBN 3214 is currently pending Second Reading.
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