What does Political Dynasty actually mean?


I saw this on Facebook the other day:


Political Dynasties are a touchy issue in the Philippines. It is in the Constitution (Article II, Section 26):

Section 26. The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.

Yet there are no rules regarding it. And with a Congress full of family members, it is highly doubtful there will be rules to implement it anytime soon. In the Senate race, we have a number of people who, if they win, will join family members in the Senate (Cayetano, Enrile, Estrada). And a number who have had family members in the Senate before (Angara, Aquino, Cayetano, Estrada, Pimentel, Villar, Magsaysay, Enrile, Cojuangco).

But what is a political dynasty anyway? As I see it, there can be three definitions that rile people up:

1. Relative taking over a post. Like father to son. Brother to sister. Wife to husband. Cousin to uncle. Maybe until first cousins. Governors, Congress, Mayors…

2. Having more than one family member in the same “chamber”. Like the Senate and House.

3. “Controlling” a province or area. The same family running for Governor, Mayor, Congress, Councilor…

That basically sums it up. These are the perennial complaints of anyone looking at our political landscape. Same families, just interchanging with one another. Will there ever be a law? Researching a bit, I came across this one filed by Miriam. It basically prohibits:

1. Relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity running for office in the same province at the same time.

2. Relatives taking over a position from one another.

3. Relatives running at the same time, even with no incumbent relative, within a province.

It’s a good step in the right direction. It will free up the provinces from family control. And stop the inheritance of position. It won’t address relatives running as a Senator and for the House at the same time, together with local positions. But that can be addressed in the future.

Of course, the bill wasn’t passed. It didn’t progress. Too many people don’t want it. What’s with these positions anyway? Power and money. Sad that those come before serving the people. Sometimes, we gotta do it piece by piece, little by little. Hopefully, we will learn from the mistakes of decades past. Sooner than later.


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