Press Release
October 30, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara reiterated his calls for deep reforms in the country's political party system, as he welcomed the passage on Third Reading of the Political Party Development Act (PPDA) of 2012 (HB 6551) in the House of Representatives.

Angara, the longest serving Senator in the post-Edsa era, emphasized the need for a system-wide initiative to enhance the country's political parties by making them more transparent, self-sufficient and platform-based.

"Our politics becomes so contentious because it usually boils down to personalities, instead of ideologies or political platform," explained Angara. "As a result, political parties end up focusing on individuals rather than shared ideals or policy prescriptions."

The former UP President is one of the main proponents of the Senate counterpart of the PPDA (SBN 3214) which seeks to strengthen the country's political party system by imposing penalties against individuals who cross party lines, among other things.

Said measure proposes to penalize so-called "political turncoats" by prohibiting them from running for any position in the nearest elections. The bill also disqualifies these politicians from being appointed to any public office for three years after the term of their current position expires.

"With such rules in place, there is greater motivation for alliances to be formed based on ideals and principles instead of personal relations. Party members will be driven to stick it out with their parties instead of switching affiliations only because it's politically expedient," explained Angara, Chairman of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP)--one of the country's oldest and formidable political parties.

The veteran lawmaker added that a highly fragmented, personality-based multi-party system has resulted in unpredictable policies, which inevitably weakened the country's position for economic growth.

He concluded, "I hope our colleagues in the Senate can see the importance and urgency of this measure. By instituting such systemic changes, we lessen the opportunity for parties to become mere machinery for furthering an individual's political interests."

The Senate counterpart of the PPDA is currently pending at the committee level.

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