'More than 50% of LGUs controlled by dynasties'

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 23 2012 04:56 PM | Updated as of Oct 24 2012 12:56 AM

MANILA, Philippines - More than 50% of local government units nationwide are controlled by political dynasties, a political analyst said Tuesday.

Professor Prospero de Vera of the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP NCPAG) said dynasties are more pronounced at the local level than at the national level since political clans are able to control the economic life blood of the areas where they rule.

This allows them to shape the political landscape and then perpetuate their economic control over the area, he added.

De Vera said that in the past, politicians who can no longer run because of term limits would ask their allies to run for the positions that they will be vacating.

"The trouble is - once these allies win, they will be even more powerful than their patrons and won't give up the positions," he said.

De Vera said this is why a "termed out" mayor will slide down to vice mayor then ask a sibling or partner to run-leading to a conjugal dynasty. "Because it is easier to control a relative or family member," he said.

However, de Vera said some new politicians have managed to beat members of political clans in some parts of the country.

He cited as example the Jalosjos clan in the Zamboanga Peninsula that failed to branch out into Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga City.