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In understanding the fact of existence of political dynasty, it is but proper to

look back to the history of the Philippine political system.

Several publications subscribe to the view that modern Philippine politics
began with the United States introduction of political institutions (Steinberg 1972;
Cushner 1976; Phelan 1976; Fegan 1982; Larkin 1993; Cullinane 2003; McCoy and
de Jesus 2001). Benedict Anderson (1996) observes that in the first decade of the
twentieth century, the United States brought in its model of a political system that it
deemed essential to liberate its colony. The linguistic, property, and literacy
qualifications were set so high that only 14 percent of the adult population was
entitled to vote. Thus, a group of political elites emerged from the mid-nineteenth
century who gained their wealth during the Spanish period through the control of
land for the production of export crops (Steinberg 1972; Cushner 1976; Phelan
1976; Fegan 1982; Larkin 1993; May 1993; Cullinane 2003; McCoy and de Jesus
Earlier political scientists such as Carl H. Lande (1965) and other scholars
(Hollnsteiner 1963; c.f. Grossholtz 1964; Agpalo 1969; Wurfel 1988) began to
illustrate the polity in the Philippines as constructed through patron-client
relationships, kinship networks that formed the basic units of factions that served as
the building blocks of political organizations. Clients were dependent on patrons,
and their survival was secured through their performance of a debt of gratitude.
Such a relationshipreciprocity and debt of gratitudeallowed patrons to attract
their own followers, through maneuvering if not manipulation, who subsequently
transformed into factions during election time to engage in power struggles. In
essence, Philippine political structures remained in the hands of the elites to
manipulate electoral institutions for political interests with no genuine political
participation, ideology, or representation.
-Hidden Transcripts from Below in Rural Politics of the Philippines: Interpreting the
Janus-facedness of Patron-Client Ties and Tulong (Help) (Soon Chuan Yean)
However, scholars in the late 1980s began to cite the emergence in the late Spanish
colonial era of a class of large landowners and the entrenchment of this plantocracy
throughout the twentieth century as key obstacles to sustained capitalist
development and industrialisation on the one hand, and social justice and
democratic governance on the other. As one noted political scientist concluded:
The distinctive feature of the Philippines response to the expanding demand of the
world market was the creation of a substantial indigenous land-owning class. Unlike
the other states of Southeast Asia where agricultural export crops were grown on
land owned by foreign companies, aristocrat-bureaucrats or small peasants, the
commercial revolution in Philippine agriculture gave rise to a new class of
commercially oriented landowners who were quite separate from the bureaucracy. It
was from the ranks of this class that a new political lite emerged in the late
nineteenth century and later, in the twentieth century, a commercial and industrial
Evidence that the subsequent era of American rule was the crucial period for the
acquisition of large landholdings reveals a pattern of private capital accumulation

by this national oligarchy in which the institutions of Philippine colonial democracy

played a crucial role. It was in fact precisely during this period that wealthy
plantation families engaged in significant expansion of their haciendas, bringing
large landholdings in early sugar-growing provinces like Negros Occidental and
Batangas and new frontier provinces like Tarlac in Luzon and Bukidnon in northern
Mindanao to the unprecedented size of several thousand hectares apiece. It was
also during this period in the 1920s and 1930s in particular that the
overwhelming majority of the Philippines sugar centrals were constructed, a crucial
step for those large landowners who were to transform themselves into industrial
magnates in the years to come.
With this in mind, it is worth recalling that the large landowners who emerged at the
forefront of the national oligarchy were also politicians provincial governors,
congressmen, and senators and that it was only through their control over elective
office and access to state resources that they were able to accumulate so much
land and capital.
This process of unsurpassed dynastic accumulation in the realm of business was
fairly matched and significantly facilitated by a parallel process of political
ascendancy. Whilst Eugenio ran the family businesses and in the interwar period
wielded considerable clout through the family newspaper, El Tiempo, Fernando
became mayor of Iloilo in 1945, won a Senate seat in 1947, and served as
vicepresident under Quirino from 1949 to 1953 (when he returned to the Senate),
and again under Marcos from 1966 through 1972.
- Philippine Politics and Society in the Twentieth Century:Colonial legacies, postcolonial trajectories; Eva-Lotta E. Hedman and John T. Sidel; 2000

---Philippine political system (views) and existence of pd

According to traditional arguments, elites retain control over political offices and the
economy, while the masses are passive, submissive, and dependent on their
patrons. Hence, the elites dominate political change and development while the
masseseither susceptible to material inducement or subscribing to guns, goons,
and goldare mere followers, inarticulate in political contestation.
In a research study by Soon Chuan Yean, he pointed that changes in
Philippine politics have taken another shift toward looking at Philippine politics as an
elite democracy. To Benedict Anderson (1988), Amando Doronila (1985), and Paul
D. Hutchcroft (2000), the Philippines remains underdeveloped due to the
proliferation of oligarchic elites ora term coined by John T. Sidel (1999; c.f.
McCoy 2002)local bosses who use guns, goons, and gold and have total control
over the weak democratic state both in Malacaang and in the provinces.
Other scholars, such as Nathan Quimpo (2009), observe that the Philippines
has become a predatory regime rather than a predatory state in which political
families with business networks continue to plunder the nation. The existence of
such a regime, accompanied by the unchanged nature of patron-client ties within

society, allows the functioning of informal institutions (Putzel 1999) and contributes
to the weak nature of Philippine democratic institutions (Case 1999); the latter are
susceptible to constant electoral fraud, corruption, and rampant vote-buying and
-selling at the local and provincial levels (c.f. Coronel 2007).
The elite democracy approach takes into account the role of violence,
coercion, intimidation, and monetary inducements that enable the elites to
manipulate formal democratic procedures to suit their personal political interests.
Elections are instruments used by political elites to obtain public office and a way
for the elites to make the masses feel incorporated within their tutelage. Such
incorporation is practiced through intimidating voters, employing violent tactics,
and using the Philippine constabulary, army, police forces, political leaders (and
patrons) or entrepreneurs, and other institutions to obtain positions in public office.
From the above tour of Philippine political studies, we can summarize that the
political economy and modernization approaches place politics in the formal
institutional realmsuch as elections and presidential dominanceand the
Philippine state remains weak and vulnerable to elite manipulation while voters or
clients are susceptible to monetary inducement at the hands of political elites. At
the same time, when politics is analyzed as everyday politics, relations between
patrons and clients are not cordial.
-Hidden Transcripts from Below in Rural Politics of the Philippines: Interpreting the
Janus-facedness of Patron-Client Ties and Tulong (Help) (Soon Chuan Yean)

Most common are those who enter politics to replace a term-limited relative and
start a political career of their own, expanding the political power of the family. in
Camiguin, after serving for three-consecutive terms in Congress, Pedro Romualdo
could not run for reelection in 1998 and decided to run for provincial governor. His
seat in Congress was taken by his son Jurdin Romualdo who won the 1998
congressional race by a vote margin of over 20 percentage points. As a
consequence, the Romualdo family controlled both congress and the governorship.
In 2007, both Pedro and Jurdin reached their term-limit and could not run for
reelection. This, however, was no problem for the Romualdos; Jurdin ran for
provincial governor, taking his fathers seat, and Pedro went back to congress. Term
limits did not succeed at breaking the Romualdos control over politics in Camiguin.

In the province of Bukidnon, Jose Zubiri Jr. served in congress between 1988 and
1998. Upon reaching his term limit, his son Juan Zubiri took his seat in congress.
Jose successfully ran for governor in the 2001 election. After his victory, two
members of the Zubiri family were in power in Bukidnon. In 2007, Juan reached his
term-limit in congress. However, unlike the Romualdo family (illustrated in Figure 2),
Juan did not switch offices with his father. Instead, his seat in congress was taken by
his brother Jose Zubiri III and Juan became a senator 19. With three members of the
Zubiri family involved in politics, the family had managed to increase its sphere of
influence despite term limits. In short, these examples underscore that the response

and adaptation of dynasties to term limits may enhance the political power of these
families as their scope of influence increases both in terms of the number of family
members involved in politics and in the number of elective offices controlled.
The examples illustrated are not atypical. In fact, one family remained in power for
at least 19 years during 1987-2010 in almost 50 congressional districts. In the next
section, I systematically explore the extent to which these strategies reduce the
effectiveness of term limits on the rotation of power.
In Querubin (2010) I provide evidence that dynastic candidates tend to be stronger
than non-dynastic candidates and hence this can be useful in establishing whether
incumbents are less likely to face strong challengers after 1987.
The results suggest that relatives of incumbent congressmen receive a vote share
that is 11 percentage points larger than that of other dynastic candidates and 18
percentage points larger than that of other non-dynastic candidates during 19461972. This advantage increased by about 6 percentage points during 1987-2010.
-Political Reform and Elite Persistence: Term Limits and Political Dynasties in the
Philippines; Pablo Querubin; Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies;
October, 2011

--- Filipino views of politics

One perspective on the above narrative would be that the incident was an
exceptional case as it involved death, and therefore the resentment was at a more
personal level of emotional assertion, not necessarily a spelling out of ordinary
peoples understanding pulitika. Nevertheless, the fact that Tatay Bending had been
turned away from help at a particularly critical time is connected by him with the
meaning of pulitika in general. The incident has taught him to stop voting, i.e., to
abandon that system of politics altogether. Pulitika connotes a negative domain that
cannot guarantee ones welfare, similar to pangako seen as rhetoric during election
Elections are just a temporary space for politicians to court for votes and fulfill their
desire for power. In pulitika, the ultimate consequence is oppression, i.e.,
matatapakan (to step or suppress), blank promises, and the absence of compassion
toward others (i.e., no help was given in a time of need to save Tatay Bendings
son). Thus, pulitika is just like a game for childrenparang laro laang ng mga
batathat perhaps benefits the rich (mayaman) and the politicians (pulitiko), but
not the poor (mahirap).
To sum up this session, the patron-client ties that function in the pulitika context
pertain to bad politics that serve the vested interests of both parties, but
predominantly on the patron side. With the cultivation of ties between the two
parties, interests become loyalty and loyalty becomes culture. Patron-client ties
take the form of bad politics at the expense of peoples welfare, responsive
governance, and democracy. In Iletos (1999b, 160) definition:

Pulitika is the perception of politics as a process of bargaining, with implicit self or

factional interests involved. The interaction between colonial power and its native
words was pulitika. At another level, it refers to the practices by which leaders
cultivate ties of personal loyalty and indebtedness to them, or simply attract votes.
According to Resil Mojares (2002, 338) pulitika . . . is imaged in terms of elite
factional competition (inilungay sa katungdanan), manipulation (maneobra),
spectacle, and dissimulation.

Voters may find it rational to elect members of political dynasties, as relatives of

previous incumbents may be able to benefit from the political investments and
networks established by their predecessors, in order to channel resources to their
constituents. This creates an equilibrium where dynasties are powerful due to the
absence of parties and parties do not consolidate due to the strength of dynasties.
-Political Reform and Elite Persistence: Term Limits and Political Dynasties in the
Philippines; Pablo Querubin; Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies;
October, 2011
---Disadvantage of pd
Political dynasties can undermine the quality of democracy and economic
development in the long growth. Several scholars argue that the dynastic nature of
Philippine politics has led to a personalized style of politics that undermines the
creation of a strong state and the adoption of country-wide policies (Hedman and
Sidel, 2000 and Coronel at.al, 2007). As a consequence, the reform of important
economic institutions is often blocked by members of dynasties who benefit from
the status-quo. This has also prevented the emergence and consolidation of political
parties that address the demands of broader constituencies. Others claim that the
resiliency of dynasties is associated with rent-seeking and the allocation of state
resources to further private interests (McCoy, 1994 and Hutchcroft,1998). The
concentration of political power in a small set of families also increases the risk of
political capture and the adoption of policies and institutions that benefit a very
narrow set of interests.
-Political Reform and Elite Persistence: Term Limits and Political Dynasties in the
Philippines; Pablo Querubin; Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies;
October, 2011
--- Advantages of pd
However, my preliminary observation tends to support the hypothesis that the
reason the masses continue to engage in patron-client ties is because formal
institutions have failed them. What is available in the realm of formal politics is
government officials such as politicians, and relationships with them need to be
cultivated. The masses know very well that if they hope to gain from the
institutional setup, the game needs to be played well and cautiously. The Philippine
masses are not passive or submissive to dirty politics. Nor do they blindly submit
to the patrons due to vested interests. Their political activities extend beyond this.

The masses also look for responsive leadership in the realm of everyday politics. To
turn such politics into another institution requires much more than this analysis
can discern.
-Hidden Transcripts from Below in Rural Politics of the Philippines: Interpreting the
Janus-facedness of Patron-Client Ties and Tulong (Help) (Soon Chuan Yean)

----moral character of politicians

Lastly, I remember during my field research when a nonpolitical figure was helping
the community, he or she would be pushed to become a politician, for that
personality had desirable qualities according to the people in the community.
Unfortunately, when a person became a political official, the desirable qualities were
usually not sustained and the politician fell prey to corruption and money politics.
-Hidden Transcripts from Below in Rural Politics of the Philippines: Interpreting the
Janus-facedness of Patron-Client Ties and Tulong (Help) (Soon Chuan Yean)

--failure of anti-political dynasty bills to be enacted