'Name recall doesn’t always mean victory'
MANILA, Philippines – The son of Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara believes Filipino voters do not consider all political dynasties bad, judging by the results of previous elections.
Speaking to ANC’s “Headstart," Aurora Rep. Sonny Angara said political dynasties are less of an issue for the underprivileged and more a concern of the elite.
“It's an issue for the elite. I don’t think it's an issue for the masa. I think it’s a Manila, intellectual AB issue, this dynasty. [The] results with consultations with people, focus groups and surveys, hindi ano sa kanila yun e. Kung magaling yung tatay o asawa, tingin nila, may tatak yun e. Makakatulong pa sa tatakbo,” he said.
Angara, who is also considering a possible senatorial run, said name-recall does not always translate to a poll victory. He said that while Jinggoy Estrada and Loi Ejercito easily won seats in the Senate because they are related to former president Joseph Estrada, candidates such as Sonia Roco and Susan Ople were not able to translate name-recall to victory.
Roco is the wife of the late Sen. Raul Roco while Ople is the daughter of the late Senator and Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas Ople.
“Hindi naman lahat ng may relasyon nananalo rin. May nananalo at may natatalo rin. It is not automatic. You have to work for it. You have to convince the people that you are deserving,” Angara said.
The lawmaker said Filipino voters sometimes reject candidates who are running solely on the strength of name recall instead of their own qualifications. He said candidates who win have both the name and achieved a certain type of fame, which is why broadcasters and actors are elected to the Senate.
Unfortunately, he said the current political system does not allow good performing public officials such as governors who could rise all the way to the top national posts.
“In the US you can do it. You have outstanding governors who become president of the United States,” he said.
What defines a dynasty?
Angara said plans to push for an anti-dynasty law are frequently bogged down by what defines a dynasty.
He said some are of the opinion that close relatives should not hold simultaneous positions or take over the same position one after the other.
In his case, he said the issue of dynasty won’t be that big of an issue since he might be running after his own father’s Senate term ends.
Angara said he has yet to finally decide on running for senator but noted that there's “a lot of unfinished work in terms of legislative advocacies.”
“We're getting to that. Maybe next month or August, we'll make a final decision," he said.
He denied he has the endorsement of President Aquino, saying the President only commended their work in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.
He also said he has not been formally invited to run under the Liberal Party's senatorial ticket.
Angara, who placed 12th in the recent Pulse Asia survey of possible Senate winners, said he will push for reforms in the education system if he wins a Senate seat.
Asked if his role as spokesman of the House prosecution team in the Corona trial helped, he said: “In a sense, I think there's been some separation from my father. ‘May Congressman Angara pala’- in that sense.”
“A lot of it before was riding on the goodwill of my father. In a sense, I've come into my own a little bit but also I think you can’t take away the fact that he is still very much there,” he added.