Ex-VP Binay on anti-dynasty law: Why stop qualified people from running?

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 14) — Former Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday made clear his take on a proposed anti-political dynasty law.

Facing the public and media for the first time since the 2016 polls, Binay said he is against the proposal, and that "qualified" people should not be prohibited from rendering public service.

"Ako talagang hindi ko sinusuportahan 'yang anti-dynasty," said Binay, who briefly retired from politics after losing the 2016 presidential race. "In the first place, bakit ba lalagyan natin ng prohibition ang mga qualified?"

[Translation: Personally, I am really against the anti-dynasty law. In the first place, why should we prohibit the qualified (candidates) from running?]

Article II, Section 26 of the 1987 Constitution states that "The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law." While the constitution, in essence, prohibits political dynasties, the Congress has yet to pass an enabling law for the provision.

A Senate panel last March approved Senate Bill No. 1765, a bill aiming to put a halt on political dynasties in the Philippines. The Consultative Committee's draft federal charter also earlier proposed to ban dynasties.

Binay's children, Junjun and Abby, are set for a clash for the Makati City mayoralty race.

His daughter, Senator Nancy Binay is also seeking reelection.

In a statement last month, the older Binay noted he will respect the decision of the siblings to run against each other in the mayoral race. He added he will leave the fate of the two to the to the voters of Makati.

"Nirerespeto ko ang desisyon nilang kumandidato bilang punong-lungsod ng Makati. ...Hindi ako ang magpapasya kung sino sa kanila ang karapat-dapat na maging punong-lungsod. Ang magpapasya nyan ay ang mga mamamayan ng Makati," Binay said.

READ: Ex-VP Binay backs children Abby vs. JunJun face-off for Makati mayoralty post

[Translation: I respect their decision to be candidates for Makati Mayor…I cannot decide who is more worthy to be Mayor between the two of them. Only the people of Makati may decide.]

Despite the political conflict between Abby and Junjun, the elder Binay hopes their personal family relationships will not be affected.

"Sana huwag masira, mabiyak, o maapektuhan ang pamilya namin dahil sa pulitika," he said Wednesday.

[Translation: I hope our family will not get broken, and will not be affected by politics.]

Not seeking House speakership

Meanwhile, the elder Binay announced his bid for Congress in the 2019 midterm polls. He said he will run as Makati First District representative under the United National Alliance party.

But he said he is not seeking the House speakership as he will remain in the minority.

"I'll be there as a constructive legislator," Binay said in the forum Wednesday. "Hindi ako for the heck of it (na) daldal ka lang nang daldal, oppose ka lang nang oppose."

[Translation: I'll be there as a constructive legislator. I'm not running for the heck of it,I'm not just going to talk and oppose.]

Binay added that he won't have a problem working with former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano if they both win their congressional bids. Cayetano was among the lawmakers who led a probe on the Binay family's wealth and alleged corruption.

"Meron sa kanila na humihingi ng apology... Ako naman eh siguro produkto ito ngayong ng kababasa ko sa Bible, pinatatawad ko na sila," Binay said.

[Translation: Some of them issued an apology. For my part, and maybe this is a product of my reading the bible, I have forgiven them.]

CNN Philippines Correspondent Triciah Terada contributed to this report.