Best way to end oligarchy is to increase competition: analyst


Posted at Jul 15 2020 11:43 AM

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MANILA - The best way to end oligarchies is to increase competition, a political analyst said Wednesday after President Rodrigo Duterte claimed he ended the rule of the few in the country "without declaring martial law."

Duterte made the remark after lawmakers denied ABS-CBN's fresh franchise bid as its licensed lapsed on May 4, forcing it off the air during the COVID-19 pandemic as millions lost jobs.

The President should "focus on the political concentration of power and see that many political dynasties are proliferating and expanding, said Ronald Mendoza, economist and dean of the Ateneo School of Government.

"The best way to end oligarchy in the political system or political dynasties or in the economy, the best way is to increase competition, to have new players enter," he told ANC.

"If you are just going to replace one oligarch with a baby oligarch who will eventually become a full-grown obese oligarch as well, then you are not changing the system. You are just feeding the merry-go round of oligarchs in the country."

Political dynasties in the Philippines are "now much more expanded than before," Mendoza said.

"If we are to trust his rhetoric which is he wants to level the playing field and end oligarchies which is a laudable goal, the best way to do this is not to target families, not to target firms, and especially not to do it in ways that actually weaken our institutions, which is what just happened," he said.

Several analysts have questioned Duterte's claim, while Sen. Francis Pangilinan said oligarchy was not a national "problem" during the pandemic.