Mistresses, live-in partners of politicians can still run in draft charter
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A provision to bar mistresses or paramours of a politician from running for public office did not make it to the draft constitution being crafted by Malacañang's Consultative Committee (Con-Com).
Con-Com Chairman Reynato Puno explained on Tuesday, March 20, that members did not agree on proposed terms for that particular provision. The same committee had voted to ban relatives within the 2nd degree of consanguinity or affinity from succeeding each other or from occupying more than one national and one local position.
"For one, we are not agreed on the concepts. Even Congress, I assume is still groping on these concepts. So we thought it would be wise if we do not define them and include them in the ban," said Puno during a press conference.
One such phrase suggested was "analogous cases" to cover these informal relationships.
"There was that suggestion to include the phrase 'analogous cases,' but again, there is difficulty imagining what are these analogous cases," said Puno.
He said that, in terms of what informal relationship should be covered, "there are too many to specify."
There had been discussion during committee meetings about including mistresses, girlfriends, boyfriends, or live-in partners of government officials or politicians as among those covered by an anti-dynasty provision.
The final wording of the anti-dynasty provision could, however, cover children of the paramours with the politician. The provision's definition of a political dynasty covers relatives "whether such relations are legitimate, illegitimate, half or full blood."
In Philippine politics, paramours of politicians have been encouraged to run for government posts, and in some cases, have won. This allows them to share power with their partner's political family even if they are not related to them by blood or affinity.
Some examples of this include Guia Gomez, mistress of Manila mayor and former president Joseph Estrada, who is serving her second term as San Juan City mayor.
Rosemarie "Baby" Arenas, mistress of former president Fidel Ramos, is currently Pangasinan 3rd District Representative. – Rappler.com