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FACTUAL BACKGROUND I. II. III. IV. V. VI. What is political dynasty? Democracy? Is Political Dynasties threat to democracy?

What is to be done to stop Political Dynasties? Benefits of the bill Practicability

1. What is a political dynasty? A common meaning is the repeated election and reelection of close relatives with the same surname to offices in the local and national governments. The relatives appear to enjoy a monopoly of political power to the disadvantage of rival leaders. In this sense we can cite many provinces and cities with political dynasties. Political dynasty members are seen to use their superior wealth, following and access to public resources to favor themselves. They attract their followers and keep them loyal with patronage. Some of them even resort to unfair if not illegal means to keep their political rivals out of office: corruption, fraud, violence, vote-buying and intimidation. But other political dynasties do not. So we have bad political dynasties and benevolent political dynasties. Over a century For example, in one province, La Union, the Ortega clan has survived for over a century, or since the beginning of elections under American colonial rule. So there is some reference to an Ortega political dynasty. However, apparently, many people in La Union do not trace the exceptional political supremacy of the Ortega clan to the negative factors we have mentioned. In this sense we can speak of a benevolent and respected Ortega political dynasty. In general, however, political dynasties rise and fall. A political dynasty can be challenged and defeated, then rise again; or fade away when the people are dissatisfied and turn to other leaders. For a long time, the Osmeas and the Cuencos dominated politics in Cebu. Now, the Garcias, Duranos and other families are dominant. In other places politics is keenly competitive and unpredictable, and there is a turnover of ruling families. Dynasties in Senate The issue of political dynasties has heated up in relation to the 2013 candidates for the Senate who come from one and the same family or clan and thus bear the same surname as another senator, or President Aquino himself. In this sense, loud public criticism and some cynicism greeted the announcement of senatorial candidates for the 2013 elections. One set belongs to the majority coalition: Bam Aquino, the

Presidents cousin; Sen. Alan Peter, brother of Sen. Pia Cayetano, succeeding himself; Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara Jr. succeeding his father, Sen. Edgardo Angara, who is reaching his term limit and running to succeed his sister as governor of Aurora province; former Las Pias Rep. Cynthia Villar, wife of outgoing Sen. Manuel Villar; former senator Ramon Jun Magsaysay, only son of the late and beloved President Ramon Magsaysay (1953-57); and Sen. Aquilino Koko Pimentel III, son of former Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr. Under the banner of the United Nationalist Alliance, led by Vice President Jejomar Binay, the senatorial candidates include his eldest daughter, Nancy; Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile Jr. who would be joining his father, the Senate President; Rep. J.V. Ejercito who would join his brother, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada. 2. Democracy is actually derived from the Greek language and means as much as power to the
people. Democracy is actually a political government form where either people govern themselves in a structure of direct democracy, or there are elected representatives of the people who form the government in a representative democracy.

In a democracy all citizens are equal before the law The idea that every single person should be treated equally before the law is a very noble one. There should be no racial profiling, no money making some citizen more equal than the others, or money purchasing the best legal advice there is, whereby people without money play Russian roulette with legal aid lawyers. It would be really nice if political connections and nepotism would not count and all people have the same chance to be judged fairly. In a democracy all citizens have equal right to the power With all due respect, Ralph Nader and Al Gore would very probably disagree, just to name a few, but nobody said that United States of America is a perfect democracy. In theory, any and all citizen can become candidates for any elective office function. The previously mentioned financial bending rule applies here most significantly and the more equal citizen can enjoy the oval office, while the less equal citizen can enjoy the guided tour. 3. Prohibited but not defined Certainly, the framers of our 1987 Constitution recognized the importance of maintaining a level playing field in political competition as expressed in the following provision: The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law. (Art. II. Sec. 26) Unfortunately, the framers left it entirely to Congress, many of whose members belong to political dynasties, to define political dynasties and prohibit them. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) can say that it has no clear basis to enforce the constitutional prohibition since the Constitution does not define political dynasties and Congress has not passed the implementing legislation on the subject. If the framers had been more serious and discerning, they could have prohibited political dynasties effectively by a forthright constitutional prohibition such as this: No outgoing elected

official shall be succeeded to the same office by any person related to him/her to the third degree of consanguinity or affinity. This would prohibit the spouse, brother or sister, or in-laws, children, or first cousins of the outgoing elected official to succeed him/her in the same office. Lack of implementing legislation would not prevent the enforcement of the specific constitutional prohibition. Indeed, the prohibition would make it mandatory for Congress to pass the implementing law. Or the courts would make the decision in a litigation and direct its implementation. The Comelec would be obligated to enforce the courts decision. Test case in SC Businessman Luis Biraogo has asked the Supreme Court to enforce the constitutional ban on political dynasties in the 2013 elections. He alleges that the current batch of candidates is the best testament to that political and constitutional mockery. He cites not only the political dynasties in the Senate but also the Belmontes, Pacquiaos and Jalosjoses. Biraogo asserts that the Comelec is vested with implied powers to make a definition of political dynasties and the ministerial duty to prohibit them. He argues that political d ynasties are prohibited by the Constitution because they are inherently bad; it does not matter whether they are reform-oriented, or known for public service like Bam Aquino and the Vice President.

Symptom of problems The rapid expansion of our electorate, consisting of more and more poor people, insecure and dependent voters, and increasing political competition have increased the cost of campaigning and incumbency for the political leaders acting as patrons of their constituents. Our continuing semifeudal society and premodern political culture shape our dysfunctional elections, political parties, presidential form of government and unitary system of national-local government relations. The cost of elections is rising in all democracies, except that in the industrialized democracies where many middle class citizens contribute to the campaign of their party candidates. Moreover, the state supports the political parties through subsidies. In contrast, our middle class is not as broad and deep and effective as a countervailing force to the political establishment, although middle class members are becoming more assertive and our media are vigilant. Again, many of our voters are poor dependents of their political patrons. These conditions put great pressure on our politicians to use their power and influence to raise funds for their political

survival often through rent-seeking or private use of power, pork barrel politics and influence peddling. Accountable politics Political dynasties are thus the cause and consequence of our ineffective and unaccountable patron-client democracy, and personalized parties plagued by misuse of power, corruption and wastage of state resources, and of our rapid population growth and continuing underdevelopment. We cannot begin to change our political system that breeds these ills without basic structural and institutional reforms, as we critics and Charter change advocates keep saying and writing about. We need to organize nationwide and democratic political parties based on a defined ideology, and program of governance and reform, with regular dues paying members who continually engage the voters in discussing local and national issues and problems affecting them, and who choose their own leaders and candidates for public office. In this way, the members own the political party and are not beholden to wealthy patrons. In time, this kind of political parties will help build an alternative to our traditional political parties which are loose and opportunistic alliances of politicians and political dynasties. Without these various reforms, we cannot develop our economy to make it more productive, competitive, equitable and inclusive in its growth and benefits. We cannot control the excessive growth of our population and upgrade our environment. 4. The best way to stop political dynasties is to pass a bill prohibiting such. Rep. Mary Mitzi Cajayon of Caloocan, where several members of the Echiverri and Asistio political families are running in next years elections, introduced Bill 6660. She said since the ratification of the 1987 Constitution more than two decades ago, Congress has not passed a law carrying out its mandate against political dynasties. She said the Charter declares, as a matter of principle and policy, that the state shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law. This constitutional imperative is significant as the perpetuation of political dynasties can undermine the quality of democracy and economic development. This grotesque political phenomenon in the country has in fact engendered inequality which tends to further the vicious cycle of poverty of our people, Cajayon said. The bill defines a political dynasty as the concentration, consolidation or perpetuation of public office and political power by persons related to one another.
The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.

5. The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, Article II, Declaration of Principles and State Policies, Section 26.

Prominent and influential people and families have controlled much of Philippine politics since colonial times. During the Spanish era, the conquistadors gave political power to their favoured mestizos (i.e. Filipinos with Spanish blood) or the Illustrados (educated Filipinos from wealthy families). These people in turn, wielded some authority and influence over their respective communities, provinces and constituencies. Political dynasties were established and continue to exist up to the present times. It is a common fact in the country that family members of incumbent politicians run for public office. National and local elections are dominated by these politically empowered families. Up to now, however, the political dynasties have not been clearly defined by law in the Philippines. This condition allows and is being used by incumbent politicians to push their family members to pursue political careers. And of course, seeing how these family members observe and experience the prestige, power, and influence of being in politics, they are more inclined to pursue the same career path. This system then leads to an increased and increasing number of family members holding public office creating the undefined political dynasties. Being in politics gives a person the power and influence over his area of jurisdiction including its public resources. This could be overwhelming to a person and much more to a family with more than one politician. The basic power and influence of a politician tends to widen as the term of office goes on and the existence of people around them with vested interests to obtain the politicians endorsement and approval. This system in turn overpowers the politician and paves the way to make decisions to the politicians gain and benefit and that of the more privileged constituencies thereby losing sight of the politicians morals and inherent obligations towards good governance and uplifting the lives of the less fortunate. The overwhelming power and influence plus the exposure to unsolicited and solicited favours eventually lead the politicians to become greedy and corrupt. This has been going on and on, never ending, and more of this greediness and corruption could be expected from the existence of political dynasties. To be in politics has become a lucrative business in the process. This political system in the Philippines is one of the major causes of the downfall of the countrys economy to the detriment of the struggling Filipinos and the whole country. The explanatory note from Senate Bill-2649: Anti-Political Dynasty Act of the Constitution, Article II, Section 26 states: To give force and effect to this provision, the playing field of the political arena should be levelled and opened to persons who are equally qualified to aspire on even terms with those from ruling politically dominant families. Philippine society, many sociologists note, revolves around the system of extended families. However, this extended family system, an otherwise beneficial concept when

applied to the social aspects of human behaviour, finds its pernicious effects in the political arena where public office becomes the exclusive domain of influential families and clans that are well-entrenched in Philippine politics. The monopoly of political power and public resources by such families affects the citizenry at the local and national levels. The socio-economic and political inequities prevalent in Philippine society limit public office to members of ruling families. In many instances, voters, for convenience and out of cultural mindset look up to these ruling families as dispensers of favours, and thus elect relatives of these politically dominant families. This bill was filed by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago on January 24, 2011. Other bills on the same topic were also filed by then senator Alfredo Lim in 2004 (SB-1317), Senator Panfilo Lacson in 2007 (SB-1468), and Rep. Teddy Casino (House Bill-2493) also in 2007. Unfortunately, even though bills have been filed since the 8th Congress to have a law to stop the establishment of political dynasties, the Congress has failed to pass such a law. The reason for this continuous failure is that all levels of government, from municipal to national, are being controlled by politicians who are members of these politically powerful and wealthy families. Would you expect these politicians to shoot themselves by voting yes to a law that prohibits their family members to run for public office? You must be dreaming or maybe we are all dreaming. But this dream can turn into reality if we as the Filipino people strongly believe that this political control should be stopped once and for all. The state of our country is currently weak and vulnerable to all kinds of intrusions from people who want to advance their own personal interests. How could we eliminate or at least minimize political dynasties in the Philippines despite the absence of law? We, the Filipino people who are the backbone of our society, must exercise our right of suffrage cognizant of the repercussion of our decisions. Let us use our minds and hearts in choosing a candidate and not be swayed by just their popularity, influence, control and buying-off. But, lets face the reality that not all Filipinos can have this mind-set. Others have fears of consequences if they would go against the tide. Together however, we can unite and stand to push our Congress to pass a law that would protect our individual and national interests. If only corrective and preventive measures like the antipolitical dynasty law could be passed and implemented, greediness and corruption could be minimized. Scarce public resources could be used for more efficient, productive, and effective programs and projects, more employment opportunities and income-generating projects could be available for the less fortunate, and our economy would start to build up and recover to where it was before or even surpass that level. Just for those who are curious, a 2007 GMA News Research showed that at least 76% of the legislators in the 14th Congress of the Philippines came from politically active families. Here are just 5 of these prominent and influential families:

1.0Introduction 1.1Background Information

Working Outline

1.2Thesis Statement: Political dynasties should be banned because political andpersonal interests are promoted. 2.0Basic Arguments2.1Political dynasties promote nepotism, favoritism and corruption. 2.1.1Political clans are motivated by the preservation of wealth rather than the implementation of basic political ideologies. 2.1.2Officials do not control only political power within themselves; they cultivate nepotism by appointing relatives. 2.2Formation of political kingdoms inhibits democracy in the country. 2.2.1Elections have become mere formalities rather that idle legalprocesses. 2.2.2Dynasties are reflections of the prevailing socio economicinequalities in the nation. 2.3 The existence of political clans prohibits economically- disadvantaged but efficient candidates. 2.3.1Basis for qualifications of public officials are distorted .2.3.2People come to accept the existing succession of political clans asa tradition. 3.0Counter Arguments 3.1Dynasties make up an effective collaboration promoting good governance. 3.2There is an increased devolution of power over the localities which empower them. 3.3Refutation 4.0Conclusion

Political Affiliations Uncovered The terrifying massacre of civilians in Maguindanao was a grim eye-opener of the influence of political dynasties in the country and the danger it imposes on the people. According to a recent study by the Philippine Center for Investigative journalism, the emergence of political dynasties started when the

Americans introduced electoral politics in the 20thcentury. The standards boxed the opportunities to the rich and the landed, which then monopolized public office. The image of this government system was passed through the years, validating the Marcos regime, which is there silence of political kingdoms in the provinces. At present, the cultural importance of kinship affiliation explains the power and dominance of political affiliations (Bonoan,2009). With this, political dynasties should be banned because political and personal interests are promoted. In our political setting, political alliances are defined along familial lines not by political parties with strong political ideologies and beliefs (Jayme, 2001). Most of the clans confine themselves on political structures for the essence of social survival, taking advantage of the weak nation. Emphasis is put on preserving family wealth rather than forming productive activities that will serve the country better. Immaturity of this political system leads to nonsense acts of protection of the clans interests by legislating for their own means. When dark-tinted SUVs rule the highways, luxury items are purchased and dozens of bodyguards sprout, we see the seeds of corruption. (Philippine Daily Inquirer, November 2009) Officials held in public office do not have contentment with themselves. They do not control only political power within themselves, but they also cultivate nepotism by appointing their relatives. The kinship ties built by powerful families result to favoritism norms in the government, poisoning almost every mind in it. It has crept into their heads, distorting the rationality and dignity over their vocation. Another disrupted underlying factor is the individuality concern of the officials. Effective economic decision-making is tampered due to the surfacing of personal interests. In the course of the rising and expanding political kingdoms ruling over the country, it has become hard to tell where democracy is to be found. With rules distorted and morality questioned, people can never tell if they deserve more than what they are getting from the government. Political dynasties inhibit democracy, further adding instability and weakness of political institutions that are supposed to be working on their sense of rationality and individualism for the country (Jayme, 2001). A reflection of this phenomenon is the present day elections. Plebiscites are viewed as mere formalities rather than idle legal processes. Filipinos started

accepting the fact that family succession in political institutions may be beneficial. They, too, are poisoned by this thought. The present set up of our government is actually a monarchy, not a democratic one. Bureaucrats held in public office are chosen through the value of inheritance, not according to their skills. Considering this, voters seem to forget the essence of their right to vote. People should break apart from what they see is tradition. They have the right to choose who they think is efficient and capable of a position. People should be able to rationalize their minds and stop tolerating the overwhelming political dynasties. With the plight of the horrifying Maguindanao massacre, people must take into account a brutal reality check how deadly Philippine democracy is. Dr. Encarnacion Teresa Tadem, director of the Third World Studies Center of the University of the Philippines, said that the continued flourishing of political dynasties is a reflection of the socio-economic inequalities in the country. According to Conde (2009), political clans are inherently wrong because they give a head start in politics of the same family. With this simple launch, opportunities for other candidates are softly burned down. Families rising into power shoot prospective rivals from coming into their state. During the Marcos regime, Ferdinand Marcos stressed the abolition of political dynasties all over the Philippines. However, he must have driven away growing political dynasties. But then right after, he started establishing his own. He appointed relatives all over the fingers of his hands. Relatively, economically disadvantaged contenders are deprived of their freedom of holding public office. Once they try to peep in to the big world, they are kicked out in an instance by the prevailing political kingdoms. With the rise of different socio economic forces pulling Filipinos side by side, even the essence of choosing rightful political representatives are unconsidered. At present times, the basis for qualifications of candidates does not depend on his competence; it all depends on his seated master. Indeed, democratic rules no longer apply in the selection of candidates for public office. Presence of powerful political kingdoms remains to be the primordial obstacle to deserving but

economically disadvantaged candidates from running or winning the elections. If one wants to have an iron grip in politics, he must have somebody powerful enough, a member of a dynasty, to pull him up. In short, running for public office is a matter of grasping the truth about inequality of opportunities with the prevailing power of the ruling elite. Many qualified Filipinos can improve public service but they are barred by these dynasties. It is evident that the formation of political dynasties inflicts detrimental effects on most Filipinos. However, the worst part is people come to accept the existing succession of political clans as a tradition. Embedded in their heads are the thoughts that there is nothing wrong with a family laying down its hand all over the country. It was considered as a tradition because of inaction. People barely oppose to what these political dynasties impose in their places. The system is a vicious cycle preventing the expansion of aspirants and candidates for representation. As a result, this political system is dominated by fraud, corruption and violence. (The New York Times, 2007).Although there is a widespread belief that political dynasties can never be terminated for injecting damage, there are certain points that serve as signs for positive change. Political kingdoms have earned its connotation as influential families dominating power and wealth to control the aspects of the nation. However, if dynasties are closely examined, it will turn out that not all yield negative outputs. Several young politicians from dynasties have broken away with their old ways of ruling specific areas. They must have been unfairly disqualified from public service. They had proven their capacity to govern responsibly. One example is Sergio Osmea Jr., a worthy public official, who might have been inequitably barred for being the son of his illustrious father. With this, should Manuel Roxas be excluded also for being the son of Gerardo Roxas, the son of a former president? The credentials of this family are unquestionable (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2007).

Another significant change that is attributed to the rise of political dynasties is the increased devolution of power over the localities. Kinship affiliation does not concentrate on urban areas only; they are creeping out to the provinces. In recent years, the provinces cities and towns have grown richer (New York Times, 2007).Because of local empowerment, good dynasties are becoming more responsive to the call of good governance. Similarly, as clans expand all over the country, competition rises among them. This opposition is viewed as a positive factor for change. Dynasties race out with other dynasties which might eventually result to better public service if they do the competition the clean way. Before, Manila, being the center of trade and industry was outshining the other spots in the country. But now, under the ambitious plans of the government dynasties other places are gradually revealing their own worth. On the contrary, we cannot have the assurance that all dynasties bear good intention and good heirs. Taking a risk with these unscrupulous dynasties will put us to great danger, even more than the Maguindanao massacre. In addition, some dynasties might really be attributed for local empowerment, but as we know, power comes with great responsibility. Empowerment of localities spoils with the fact that local politicians have more to gain personally from public office, fueling the cycle of violence(New York Times,2007).At this juncture, Filipinos should realize how vital their share is in running this country. Political dynasties are slowly sweeping our ways to efficiency, thus, pulling us down towards the marginalized section of society. Yes we have an antidynasty proviso\ion written in the 1987 constitution, but it is useless unless a legislation to impose it is passed by the Congress. Who should people hope for to make this happen? No way the Congress is doing it, the reason is obvious; Congress is the principal haven of political dynasties and traditional politicians. It is time to have serious thoughts be devoted to this. We have to make a stand if we want this nation to survive. If not, the blood will be right on our hands. The Congress cannot stop it but voters can and should. Indeed, with one powerful stroke of the pen in our ballots, we can break the chains of political dynasties or further tighten the cuffs of corruption that tends to sap out our flesh (Bonoan, 2009).

(Dr. Jose V. Abueva is UP professor emeritus of political science and public administration, and former UP president [1987-1993]. He is also professor and president of Kalayaan College in New Manila, Quezon City, and a member of the National Congress of the Centrist Democratic Party: Partido ng Tunay na Demokrasya.)

http://benefitof.net/benefits-of-democracy/ http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2012/11/16/867299/bill-banning-political-dynasties-filed

To see the complete SB-2649: http://www.senate.gov.ph/lis/bill_res.aspx?congress=15&q=SBN2649 To see the complete SB-1468: http://www.senate.gov.ph/lisdata/57805139!.pdf Speech of Alfredo Lim regarding SB-1317: http://www.fredlim.com/POLITICAL_DYNASTY.pdf GMA News Research (2007): http://www.gmanews.tv/story/48691/research/clans-still-rule-in14th-house-but-fewer-in-ranks/_/1/ List of Philippine Political Families: http://frjessie.wordpress.com/2007/04/21/list-of-namesconsidered-part-of-the-political-dynasty-by-roger-olivares/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_families_in_the_Philippines To know more about Philippine politics and government: http://www.i-site.ph/

http://www.scribd.com/doc/25009401/ArgumentativeEssay-Political-dynasties http://www.manilatimes.net/index.php/news/nation/34935only-people-s-initiative-can-pass-anti-dynasty-bill http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/282374/news/nati on/aquino-allies-want-house-to-tackle-bill-vs-politicaldynasties