Press Release
May 3, 2006

Chacha will strengthen political dynasties Drilon

The proposed shift from the bicameral to the unicameral legislative system would strengthen the political dynasties based on provincial and regional interests and destroy what remains of national unity, according to Senate President and Liberal Party head Franklin M. Drilon.

He said that under present social conditions, where remnants of feudalism remain, the unicameral parliamentary system would make regional and provincial political dynasties more powerful and more dominant as they will spend more money and exert more power to gain and retain seats in the parliament.

"These political dynasties, representing rich and powerful sectional interests, will dominate the parliament that will elect the prime minister, who in turn will be the chief executive. Beholden to these special interests, the prime minister will more and more be dictated by the sectional and special interests, rather than by the nation as a whole," Drilon explained.

He said that the present Constitution has mandated the banning of political dynasties precisely to promote the national over the sectional interests, achieve national unity and broaden democracy in all parts of the country.

"Regions and provinces represented by less powerful dynasties would suffer neglect as a result, and the country would be more divided than ever," Drilon said.

He pointed out that the Senate, whose members are elected at large, was precisely established during the Commonwealth period by President Manuel L. Quezon to balance the national with the provincial and district interests represented in the House of Representatives.

"But if the Senate is abolished, the regional and provincial interests, represented by political dynasties, will dominate in the parliament. Our national unity will be further rent apart. Progress will be stymied, and our people will suffer worst poverty and oppression."

"Quezon's vision of a Senate standing for national unity against the excesses of the executive and the political enclaves has been proven correct over the years," Drilon declared.

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