Press Release
June 25, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored that provisions against political turncoatism in the proposed Political Party Development Act or PPDA (SBN 3214) shall facilitate and stabilize policy regimes in the country.

The veteran lawmaker noted that for the 2010 national elections, there were 130 political parties registered in the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), with 41 of these declaring a national constituency.

"With so many groups vying for public office, it's no surprise that a major consideration in our politics is personality not government platform or political ideology," said Angara. "To an extent, these numbers are signs of how vibrant our democracy is. But on other hand, these underline one of the root causes to why government policy can be so uncoordinated and piecemeal."

The leader of Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) continued, "Some order has to be infused into our chaotic political party system, if we are to mature as a representative democracy."

Angara earlier filed and co-authored the PPDA with Senator Jinggoy Estrada to develop a strong political party system in the country by, among other things, establishing a state-driven subsidy fund for accredited national political parties and imposing stiff sanctions against political turncoats--candidates who change their party affiliation after being nominated under that party's ticket regardless of whether he or she is victorious.

Under the proposed measure, political turncoats are deemed to have forfeited their positions if they cross party lines while still serving their terms of office; disqualified from running in the election immediately after they've switched parties; prohibited from holding any public office for three years after the expiration of his or her current term; barred from assuming any executive or administrative position in his or her new party; and directed to refund all funds he or she had received from the party on top of a 25 percent surcharge.

The measure also establishes a subsidy fund--amounting to P350 million each year--which will be proportionately distributed to accredited parties based on the number of elected positions their members occupy.

"On the punitive side, the law provides clear disincentives for any form of party flip-flopping. But on the other hand, it benefits parties that are able to promote a well-defined political agenda and platform of governance," stressed Angara. "With such a structure in place, elected officials are faced with the imperative to coordinate with each other and keep their actions and policies consistent with the prescriptions of their party."

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