THE Ampatuans, the Garcias, Mangudadatus, Marcoses, the Aquinos and the Cojuangcos, and the Ortegas. These are some of the prominent political clans who have made a name for themselves, one way or another, in politics.
This May 9 election, these clans are fielding many of its members for top positions in the local or national government.
Each of these clans--except for the Garcias and Aquino-Cojuangcos who each have seven members running this election--have nine or more members running for different positions.
26 Ampatuans in all
The Ampatuan and Mangundadatu clans of Maguindanao came to prominence due to the Maguindanao massacre in 2009, orchestrated allegedly by members of the Ampatuan clan, which killed 58 people, including journalists and members of Mangungudatu clan.
The feud between the two clans started when Buluan vice mayor Esmael Mangudadatu challenged Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. for governor of the province.
Based on the Commision on Election’s list of candidates, there are 41 candidates bearing the Ampatuan surname, all running for different local positions.
Only 26 however, are found to be related to the Ampatuan clan patriarch, the late Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr.
Of these 26 candidates, 16 carry the Ampatuan surname. They include Andal Sr.’s son, Datu Sajid Islam Ampatuan, who is running for mayor of Shariff Aguak against Marop Ampatuan, son of Akmad Ampatuan, who is Andal Sr.’s nephew.
The others are Andal Sr.’s stepbrother, Sarip Ampatuan, who is running for provincial board member of Maguindanao’s second district; daughters-in-law Bongbong (wife of Zaldy), Reshal (wife of Andal Jr.), and Bai Zandria (wife of Datu Sajid) are running for vice mayor of Datu Hoffer Ampatuan, mayor of Datu Unsay, and mayor of Shariff Saydona Mustapha, respectively.
His granddaughters Anhara and Bai are running for vice mayor of Shariff Aguak and mayor of Datu Hoffer Ampatuan, respectively; nephews Zamzamin and Norodin are running for mayor of Rajah Buayan and provincial board member of the province’s second district, respectively.
His nieces Alibai and Normina are running for councilor of Shariff Aguak; grandson Benzar is running for mayor of Mamasapano; and granddaughter-in-law Amina is running for councilor of Mamasapano.
His grandnephew Datu Kamal is running for councilor of Rajah Buayan. Another relative, Nuali Ampatuan is running for board member of the province’s second district.
The remaining 10 candidates related to the late Ampatuan are carrying other surnames; some of them are his in-laws.
They are: Ali Midtimbang, Tungkang Midtimbang, Nathaniel Midtimbang, Sukarno Midtimbang, Datu Midpantao Midtimbang, and Midpantao Midtimbang Jr. - father, brothers, uncles, and cousin of Johaira “Bongbong” Midtimbang-Ampatuan, who is Andal Sr.’s daughter-in-law.
Bai Sandra Sema is running for representative of Maguindanao’s first district. Her spouse, Muslimin Sema, is running for mayor of Cotabato City; Janine Julhaiya Mamalapat and her mother, Ameerah Mamalapat, daughter of Andal Ampatuan Sr., are running for vice mayor of Shariff Saydona Mustapha and Datu Unsay, respectively.
Ali Midtimbang, Bongbong’s father, is running for governor while his sons Tungkang and Nathaniel are running for mayor and vice mayor of Talayan and Datu Anggal Midtimbang, respectively.
His brothers Datu Midpantao and Sukarno, on the other hand, are running for ARMM assemblyman and Talayan councilor, respectively. His nephew, Midpantao Jr. is running for mayor of Guindulungan.
Enter the Mangudadatus
At least 15 candidates were found to be related to Mangudadatu clan patriarch Datu Pax Mangudadatu, who at present is the first district representative of Sultan Kudarat and now running for governor of the province.
Of these 15 candidates, 11 carry the Mangudadatu surname while the rest have other surnames. The most prominent among them is Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, Datu Pax’s nephew. Esmael’s wife was among those slain in the Maguindanao massacre. Esmael is running for reelection as governor of Maguindanao. There are three other candidates bearing the Mangudadatu surnames, but it was not clear if they were at all related to Datu Pax.
The other members of the Mangudadatu clan are his son, Teng Mangudadatu, who is running for representative of Sultan Kudarat’s first district, a post that Datu Pax will vacate come June 30.
Raden Sakaluran, Datu Pax’s son-in-law, is running for vice governor; niece-in-law Azel Mangudadatu, who is running for mayor of President Quirino town.
Esmael’s son, Kingjhazzer Mangudadatu, is running for provincial board member of the province’s second district while his nephew, Prince Mangudadatu Dilangalen, is running for vice mayor of Mangudadatu town.
Esmael’s sister Rhamla Kadalim is running for vice mayor of Buluan, replacing her nephew Kingjhazzer.
Esmael’s brothers Freddie, Khadafeh, and Zajid are running for mayor of Mangudadatu, assemblyman for the province’s second district, and representative of the province’s second district, respectively.
Esmael’s sisters-in-law Dahlia, Lorena, and Zihan are running for vice mayor of Pandag and mayor of Buluan and Pandag, respectively. His cousin-in-law, Mariam, who is Teng’s wife, is running for mayor of Datu Abdullah Sangki.
The members of the Mangudadatu clan are supporting different presidential candidates. Datu Pax is supporting Vice President Binay while Esmael, who is the provincial chairman of LP in Maguindanao, has declared his support for the administration’s candidate Mar Roxas.
Esmael’s younger brother, former Buluan Mayor Jong Mangudadatu, is supporting Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Come now the Marcoses
Nine members of the Marcos-Romualdez clan are running. The son and namesake of the late strongman, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Jr. is running for vice president. His cousin, Rep. Martin Romualdez of Leyte, is running for senator.
In Ilocos Norte, Marcos’ hometown, five members of the clan are running for key positions in the province. Bongbong’s sister Imee and mother Imelda are both running for reelection- for governor and representative of the province’s second district, respectively.
Imee’s son Matthew Joseph Manotoc, for provincial board member; her cousins Eugenio Angelo Barba and Mariano Marcos II are running for vice governor and provincial board member, respectively. Imee and Eugenio are running unopposed.
In Visayas, Martin’s wife Yedda is running for representative of the first district of Leyte, the position that will be vacated by Martin.
Cristina Romualdez is running for mayor, vice her husband, Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez.
The 'mandarins' from Tarlac
The clan of President Benigno Aquino III is fielding seven candidates.
In Tarlac, Charlie Cojuangco, son of Aquino’s uncle Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr., is running for representative of the first district of Tarlac. The old Cojuangco is the founder of the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
Dors Rivilla, Danding’s nephew, is running for vice governor.
In Pangasinan, Danding’s son Mark Cojuangco is running for governor while Mark’s wife, Kimi, is running for representative of the fifth district of the province. In Malabon City, Aquino’s paternal relatives are running for key positions. Cousin, Lenlen Oreta, is seeking reelection for mayor of the city.
Lenlen’s mother, Tessie Oreta is running for representative of the lone district of the city while Lenlen’s brother Enzo is running for councilor.
Garcias of Cebu
Winston Garcia, head of the One Cebu, is running for Cebu governor.
Six other members of the clan are running for key positions in the province.
Winston’s brother Marlon, Nelson, and PJ are running for mayor of Barili and Dumanjug, and representative of the seventh district of the province, respectively.
Winston’s sister Gwen, former governor of the province, is running for representative of the province’s third district.
Gwen’s daughter Christina is running for mayor of Liloan, replacing her husband, Dodong Duke who, in turn, is running for vice mayor of the municipality.
The Ortegas of La Union
The Ortega clan of La Union, on the other hand, is one of the oldest political clans in the country and one of the most influential in the province, occupying several local positions for more than a century.
The Ortegas first occupied the top position in the province when Joaquin J. Ortega was appointed governor on August 15, 1901 by the Taft Commission.
The second time that the Ortegas held the position was in 1988, when Ortega’s son and namesake, Joaquin Ortega, was elected governor. Since then, the position has been held by clan members, now on almost on their third decade.
So many Ortegas, so few posts
The clan has become so big, there are not enough positions for all.
Fifteen members of the Ortega clan are running for local elective positions in La Union, Baguio City, and Manila.
In three key local positions in La Union, it will be a fight between two Ortegas: the sons of outgoing governor Manuel “Manoling” Ortega against his brothers.
For Manoling’s position, his son Francisco “Pacoy” Ortega III and his brother, Mario Eduardo Ortega, are running against each other.
Two Ortegas are also vying for the position of first district Rep. Victor Ortega, another brother of Manoling.
Manuel Victor “Mannix” Ortega Jr., another son of Manoling, is running against his uncle, Pablo Ortega.
For vice mayor of San Fernando, two Ortegas are also running against each other: Jose Maria “Pepe” Ortega and Alfredo “Alf” Ortega. Pepe is also a brother of Victor, Manoling, and Pablo, while Alf is a son of Manoling.
The other family members running for local elective positions include: Francisco “Kit” Ortega, Jr. (also one of the older Ortega brothers) and Justo Jonathan Orros for provincial board member;
Victor’s wife Mary Jane Ortega, for mayor of San Fernando; Francisco Paolo Ortega V (Pablo’s son), John Orros, and Mario Lacsamana for councilor of San Fernando; and Michelle Ortega (daughter of Roberto Ortega), for mayor of Caba.
Roberto Ortega, another of Manoling’s brother, is running for councilor in Baguio City, while his son Robert is running for councilor in the fifth district of the City of Manila. With additional research by Ana Maria Joanna Reyes and John Aquilino Edmund de Lima