PASIG City, March 5, 2013—With the coming May elections seeing successors and would-be heirs to political families jockeying for public office, one senatoriable claims, “There is no such thing as a ‘good’ political dynasty.”
In a talk during a youth vote forum for University of Asia and the Pacific students last Wednesday, Ang Kapatiran senatoriable Lito David said, all political dynasties are designed to control the flow of information, resources, and the process of legislation and policy-making.
According to David, the undeniable might of the Filipino ‘political family’ traces its roots back to the Marcos regime.
“The cronyism of the Marcos regime was replaced by the re-establishment of the oligarchy that Marcos sought to destroy…They have become more vicious. We call them political dynasties,” he explained, saying this rise of a powerful elite defined by family ties is the “greatest frustration” of Filipinos who suffered through martial law.
David said, after working in the Lower House of Representatives for several years, he also got first-hand experience of how political dynasties throw their weight around.
David, who is a radio commentator and political analyst, said it was common practice for legislators coming from political lineage to bully other congressmen’s staff to get hold of committee reports and somehow, influence their outcome.
70% of Congress
Political dynasties, according to David, can also be discussed “in an academic way” by looking at the statistics.
He said, 70% of legislators in Congress are from political dynasties, quite a few are also in the Senate and even more of their family members are running in the upcoming elections, wanting to add a generation or two to clan-centric politics.
David also talked about a move by Congress to have political dynasties banned, but defining what exactly a ‘political dynasty’ is proved to be quite challenging.
Of GMRC and delicadeza
In ending, he said, the issue of entire families holding sway in provinces and even urban areas is a matter of old school delicadeza.
“Kung ikaw ay isang pulitiko coming from a political dynasty at ang tatay mo nasa Senado, tatakbo ka pa ba?GMRC (good manners and right conduct) lang ‘yun (If you are a politician coming from a political dynasty and your father is in the Senate, will you still run? That’s simple GMRC,” he explained.
Some 200 students attended the forum titled ‘On the Youth Vote: 2013 Elections Forum’. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]