‘Rotten’ political party system helping to spawn political dynasties, say analysts


Posted at Oct 07 2021 04:33 AM

MANILA—The number of families involved in politics has been growing because the political party system in the Philippines has failed, political analysts said Wednesday.

"It's a trend that's been happening, that we've been tracking, since the 2004 elections. So talagang ang mga dynasties natin tumataba. Dumarami 'yung mga fat dynasties natin kung tawagin namin," Atty. Michael Henry Yusingco of the Ateneo School of Government told Teleradyo.

(Fat dynasties, as we call them, have been growing.)

He said this increase can be attributed to two factors: the failure of the country's political party system, and the absence of a law regulating political dynasties.

"There is no law yet, although mandated by the Constitution, to regulate the participation of political dynasties in our elections. So because of that, dumadami sila (they are growing)," Yusingco said.

Also, I want to add, kaya dumarami 'yang political dynasties na 'yan kasi bulok pa rin 'yung political party system natin."

(A rotten political party system has been a factor, too.)

Dr. Temario Rivera of the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) said members of political families have an advantage over other candidates.

"Napakakaunti kasi 'yung choices ng mga tao, ano? So parang may built-in advantage na for a very long time itong mga well-known dynasties. May name recall sila, may massive resources and organization, and napaka-costly ang tumakbo sa elections," Rivera said.

(The choices are so few. These well-known dynasties have a built-in advantage for a very long time. They have name recall, massive resources, and organization. And it's really costly to run.)

" 'Yan ang kaibahan sa mga mas normal na electoral democracies (That's the difference with normal electoral democracies). They vote political parties, hindi political dynasties or families," Rivera added.

For Yusingco, people must realize that political dynasties are a problem.

"Wala talaga tayong isang tao o isang bahagi na masisisi, ano? (We can't blame one person for this.) This is a problem that we all suffer now as a country. It's not the voters' fault entirely. Hindi naman talaga kasalanan noong kandidato na bahagi siya ng dynasty (It's not the candidates' fault they are in a dynasty), but it is a problem. Unahin muna natin 'yun (Let's do this first). I-recognize natin na (Let's recognize that) this is a serious pathology in our political system that's keeping our country down," he said.

Several politicians from prominent families have filed their certificates of candidacy for next year's elections.

In Davao City, President Rodrigo Duterte's sons, Sebastian and Paolo, are seeking fresh terms as vice mayor and congressman, respectively.

On Sunday, Sebastian, or Baste, filed his certificate of candidacy (COC), eyeing for his second term as the city's vice mayor.

He also filed the COC for Paolo, who is targeting a reelection as Davao's first district representative.

Their sister, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, has also filed a COC for her third consecutive and final term as local chief executive.

On Wednesday, former Comelec and MMDA chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. will run for mayor in Mandaluyong City, a position he first held in the 1980s.

Abalos was the city's mayor for 10 years from 1988 to 1998, before his son, current Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chair Benhur Abalos, took over until 2004. 

His daughter-in-law, incumbent Mayor Menchie Abalos, wife of Benhur, will be his running mate. She earlier said she was planning to seek reelection.

In Caloocan City, incumbent Mayor Oscar Malapitan is attempting to pass on the mayoralty post to his son, Caloocan Rep. Dale Malapitan, while running to replace him in Congress.

The older Malapitan, on his last term, will now vie for the House of Representatives, while his son Dale is seeking to replace him as Mayor.

Mayor Imelda Aguilar of Las Piñas and her daughter, Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Neri, are also seeking reelection.

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