The Anti graft law (Republic Act No. 3019) must be one of the best pieces of legislation that has come out of the Congress.
There is one rather obscure provision that has taken centerstage in this law, in the wake of the controversial multi-million dollar broadband project now under investigation.
I am referring to the prohibition on certain relatives of influential government officials.
The provision states:
"Section 5. Prohibition on certain relatives. - It shall be unlawful for the spouse or for any relative, by consanguinity or affinity, within the third civil degree, of the President of the Philippines, the Vice President of the Philippines, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to intervene, directly or indirectly, in any business, transaction, contract, or application with the Government: Provided, that this section shall not apply to any person who, prior to the assumption of office of any of the above officials to whom he is related, has been already dealing with the government along the same line of business, nor to any transaction, contract or application already existing or pending at the time of such of such assumption of public office, nor to any application filed by him the approval of which is not discretionary on the part of the official or officials concerned but depends upon compliance with requisites provided by law, or rules or regulations issued pursuant to law, nor to any act lawfuly performed in an official capacityor in the exercise of a profession."