By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
MANILA – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon has warned of a potential ‘crony takeover’ amid the Duterte administration’s bid to dismantle oligarchs in the country.
Drilon made the remarks following President Rodrigo Duterte’s speech in Sulu, wherein he claimed that his government was able to dismantle an oligarchy without declaring a Martial Law.
The chief executive’s pronouncement came just days after the House of Representatives’ outright denial of the franchise renewal application of the embattled broadcast giant ABS-CBN.
The network owners, the Lopez family has been described by the President in his previous speeches as only of the oligarchs who are controlling the country.
Drilon stressed that he supports dismantling oligarchy but warns cronies may take over if reforms are not in place
“Let’s make sure that the oligarchs are not substituted by cronies,” Drilon warned.
“What is it in our legal system that makes oligarchy possible? To me, we must study that. Structural reform is necessary,” he added.
According to Drilon, the Duterte administration should now look for remedies “why oligarchy persists?”
“We should not have oligarchs because that is not good and is bad for governance. We should adopt policies to prevent or dismantle these oligarchies,” said Drilon.
Drilon said he is willing to work with the administration to review the current system and enact measures that can prevent all forms of oligarchy.
“I am willing to sit down with the Duterte administration to examine the laws that we have and find out which laws should be amended or which laws should be enacted in order that we can remove or dismantle structures that made possible the oligarchy,” said Drilon.
Oligarchy, according to Drilon, is a form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people, which use their power to seek personal or benefit their group or business interest.
For Drilon, being rich does not make one an oligarch but the said system takes place “when one influences the decision of the government or uses his or her rich in order to pursue a policy that benefits business interest.”
“It is not in wealth that you are an oligarch; you are an oligarch if you use your power to promote through the political system your own interest,” he said.