A bill against turncoatism
Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
Senate President Franklin Drilon has filed a bill that will strengthen political parties and prevent turncoatism among members.
The mass exodus from various parties to the winning PDP-LABAN, to which the victorious candidate for President, Rodrigo Duterte, belong has, no doubt inspired the filing of this measure that is intended to reform political parties and, as its author said, promote party loyalty, discipline and adherence to ideological platforms and programs.
He noted, what many Filipinos deplored, that many political aspirants, swing from one party to another for convenience, rather than conviction. This was very starkly demonstrated in the events following the close of the last election, where members of several parties hopped on to the party that had the most winners because of opportunism.
As Drilon also pointed out, political parties in our country are used merely as vehicles to win an election, and the system is centered on personalities, rather than on ideology and political platforms, which should never be tolerated. Another feature of the bill which, hopefully, will become a law despite the constituency of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, is that a state subsidy fund will be allocated to help in campaign and development expenses, as well as other relevant election expenditures.
Political turncoats will also be penalized by prohibiting them from running for any position under any other party, in the next term, and will also be required to refund all amounts allotted them by their original party, with a 25 percent surcharge, Drilon's proposed bill also requires.*