SK candidates will be sworn under oath to ensure honesty.
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) ensures that it will strictly enforce the anti-political dynasty provision of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Reform Act of 2015 in the upcoming elections on October.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said, the poll body will rigidly screen the candidates in the SK and will be interrogated if they have any direct relative in the government.
The candidates will be sworn to lawyers to ensure that they are not lying about having a relative who is a government official.
Jimenez warned that there is a grave sanction once proven that the candidate is lying under oath.
On October, the Philippine electorates will be testing the waters – that is if the anti-political dynasty provision of the law be implemented.
Comelec chairman Andres Bautista had earlier lauded the provision of the SK Reform Act to address the issue that has long been complained of by the public but has long been enjoyed by the political families.
Section 10 of Republic Act 10742 or the “Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015” approved last January says that candidates “must not be related within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity to any incumbent elected national official or to any incumbent elected regional, provincial, city, municipal, or barangay official, in the locality where he or she seeks to be elected.”
Second-degree relatives include grandparents, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, parents-in-law, daughters-in-law and sons-in-law. The COMELEC is tasked with ensuring the compliance of candidates.
Bautista said the country would benefit more if this rule were enforced in all elections.
“Our Constitution is nearly 30 years old and yet there’s still no enabling law banning political dynasties,” Bautista said in an interview during his visit to the Pasay City COMELEC office to observe the registration for the SK and barangay elections.
He said the SK elections could be considered the “first step” toward eliminating political dynasties. “But I really hope that Congress p(–foul word(s) removed–) an anti-dynasty law,” he said.
Article 2, Section 26 of the 1987 Constitution provides equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibits political dynasties. However, a law is needed to fully enact this provision.
Lawmakers have failed to pass any proposed anti-dynasty law since 1987. For this Congress, former House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte is making another attempt by filing House Bill 166. Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon also filed his own version, Senate Bill No. 230.