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On Political Dynasties in the Philippines

screenshot_3A politician, let’s say a mayor, could no longer run for re-election due to term limits, what would the honorable gentleman do? Turn his back on politics? Of course not! Power is so addicting. So many of those who experienced to be at the helm of either local or national politics (and enjoyed the benefits, including those “passed under the table”) would not just quit politics nor pass the torch to another person.

So, what would happen?

His wife would run for the position he previously held. Then that politician would run for another post –  as governor perhaps. Assuming both the politician and his wife win and luckily get re-elected until they reach their term limits, would it be the end? Would their thirst for power (and the so-called “benefits”) be finally satiated?

Not by a long shot!

They are just starting to build a  political dynasty.

The couple would ask their son or daughter (or a grandson – or a granddaughter – or an in-law) to run for the positions they would vacate. The shocking thing (and you might not believe it), there are times that siblings, or even husbands and wives, would not give way to the other and so member of the same family would slug it out in the political arena. Anyway, this article is not about family member squabbling in the political arena – this is about the political dynasty their families created.

Let’s continue then.

Let’s go back to the mother who just reached her term limit as mayor? Would she go back to being a full-time mother and wife. I think you know the answer.  She would run for the post vacated by the husband-politician. The husband would then aim for  a higher position  – run either as congressman or even senator. In case all family members win then for years that the power will change hands within the same family. The son (or daughter) is a mayor, the mother a governor and the father either as congressman or senator. When term limits are reached then they will just run for the position that a family member would vacate. Some siblings, and even in-laws, in the family are also occupying minor positions in the geographical units where they reside.

That’s political dynasty.

What’s my beef with political dynasties? Let me answer that question with the following questions:

“How (did they perform) are they performing  as leaders?”

“What is the current economic, social and political condition of the country?”

“Is the Philippines  marching towards progress with them holding the reins of government?”

Of course you know the answers to the questions aforementioned.

How many of the available positions in the Philippine government, local and national, are held by the same families who have been the gods and goddesses of Philippine politics since time immemorial? Most of them are offspring of the peninsulares who survived  America’s power grab at the turn of the 20th century. Eventually they stayed in the country and reaped the dividends for doing so. And it’s not only the politics that they dominate. With the enormous fortune they inherited from their Spanish parents/grandparents, they also control the country’s economy. That’s why  Filipinos would sometimes jokingly ask – “Did the Spanish rule really end?”

Only the pure-blooded Filipinos and foreign expatriates of Chinese origin who became wealthy when the Americans took their turn to colonize the Philippine had the financial resources to challenge the Spanish mestizos for political supremacy in the Philippines, especially after the American granted the Filipinos their independence after the World War 2 . Some of them succeeded and when they experienced how intoxicating power is, they themselves established their political dynasties.

It is no longer surprising to know that politicians occupying national positions have one, or two (I hope not all) family members and in-laws occupying seats in the local government.

You might ask – “When would having the same people from the same families passing the reins of leadership to each other in both the national and local governments after elections end?”

It might not!

Why?

It would require for a candidate to have sacks (if not truckloads) of money to win in an election in the Philippines.

You were probably born yesterday if you don’t understand what I mean.

Rare are real public servants getting elected in the Philippines. The ones in position, usually, are the rich and powerful – those who could buy votes. Politicians buy votes because most (I’m not saying all) Filipino voters sell their votes to the highest bidders.

Midterm election in the Philippines is on May, 2019.

Will the Filipinos sell their votes again?

Will the political dynasties continue their reign?

Only God knows!

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About HARDPEN

Teacher-Writer Hardpen is my nom de plume. My real name is Massuline Antonio Dupaya Ligaya. Many times I was asked the question, "Why do you write?" I don't write for rewards nor adulation. When I write poems, stories, and essays, when I do research, seeing them completed gives me immense joy and satisfaction. I don't write for cash incentives, "likes," and "praises." I would be thankful if I'll have them but the happiness and sense of fulfillment I feel when completing my works are my real rewards. Is teaching difficult? No! When I teach, I don't work but I play. The classroom is my playground, the students are my playmates, and the subject is our toy. Proud to be me! Proud to be a FILIPINO! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

Posted on March 21, 2019, in 2019 Philippine Elections, Philippine Politics, Political Dynasties in the Philippines, Vote Buying and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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