MANILA - The alliance of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for the 2022 national elections shows that the scions of political dynasties are working together in order to solidify their power beyond the next six years, a political analyst said Wednesday.
Heirs and members of political dynasties “are not static” as “they learn” what needs to be done to maintain their power, University of the Philippines political science professor Aries Arugay told ANC’s Headstart.
“This emerging dynasty cartel is really a new development because we’re used with dynasties competing with one another, and not really promiscuously sharing power,” he said.
“If this alliance becomes iron clad, then we could be talking of beyond 2022, 2028, 2034. That’s how cartels work. They limit the competition. They make sure winners of future electoral contests will be among them and this is quite another level of Philippine dynastic politics,” he said.
Political dynasties are also evolving as these political offspring now have the audacity to go against their house’s patriarchs, Arugay noted.
Earlier this week, President Rodrigo Duterte said he was expecting his daughter Sara to vie for the presidency, but the Davao City Mayor instead ran for vice president, shunning a partnership with Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, the family’s long-time aide.
Duterte-Carpio said she would form a tandem with Marcos Jr., doing good on her earlier promise that she would not “lend her light” to her father’s party PDP-Laban.
The Davao City mayor joined Lakas-CMD, which is also allied with the Duterte administration.
“The maneuvers we’ve seen on her side seem to show that she is not simply copying and pasting [from her father’s playbook],” the UP professor said.
“She is not simply following orders from her father. This for me is an indication that there is some form of generational change in our dynastic politics and we will have to wait if they will be governed by the very short-sighted interest of ambition and greed or they will step up,” he said.
This “cartelization”, however, may be short-lived, as the natural motivation of dynasties will “always be self interest,” said Michael Yusingco, a political science professor from the Ateneo de Manila Univesity.
“These dynasties, they operate on ambition rather than tact or strategy,” he said.
“Even at the surface, they seemed to be forming cartels. Eventually they will cannibalize themselves because one year from now or maybe less than 1 year from now, they will eventually fight among themselves,” he said.
The lack of a strong political party system in the Philippines makes dynasty cartels more susceptible to internal ruptures, Arugay said.
“Parties as institutions can solidify those pacts between elites,” he said.
“Dynasty cartels have lesser resilience than party cartels because there are no institutions to make sure that elites do not renege on their word.”
While political dynasties in the country may be evolving, what remains is that politics in the Philippines remains personality-driven, said Edmund Tayao, who teaches political science at the Ateneo.
“This is all because of the kind of politics we have. It should at the very least suggest some kind of systemic process,” he said.
“There’s no reform we are talking about. You have to choose who among them is most convincing,” he said.
Only time can tell if these cartels will have more longevity than political dynasties operating independently from other clans, the analysts said.