Group slams ‘scandalous’ political dynastiesBy Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A civil society group on Wednesday slammed the “blatant” expansion of political dynasties in the country.
Noting the number of sons, daughters, wives, cousins and other relatives of entrenched politicians in the lineups for next year’s midterm polls, the Quezon City-based Center for People Power Empowerment in Governance (CenPeg) said this did not augur well for democracy.
“Definitely alarming today is the entrenchment of the system of political dynasties on a higher and more blatant scale, making the fair representation of the large majority of Filipinos even more elusive.”
CenPeg criticized the senatorial slates formed by the ruling Liberal Party and its rival United Nationalist Alliance. It particularly referred to the Cayetano, Enrile, Estrada and Magsaysay families who each might have two representatives in the Senate. Add to this the relatives of President Benigno Aquino—a young cousin and an aunt.
“What is definitely emerging as a scandalous reality is that political dynasties are more blatant and active today.”
CenPeg warned that the people are more and more aware of ills brought by political dynasties and are slowly expressing their distaste towards the system.
“The current national and media uproar against the blatant and ostentatious display of oligarchic power should lead to positive and constructive steps toward people empowerment,” the group said.
Patron-client relationships and the corporate interests of politicians in Congress will also reflect in the type of laws that would be passed.
“Expect the present and future congresses to enact more laws that will favor the oligarchs and corporate elite,” CenPeg said.
A government that is dominated by oligarchs, the group added, will not equalize opportunities for growth and development among the vast majority of people, the group continued.
“Conditions to form ‘more of the same’ are more encouraging than ever under the administration of Mr. Aquino, himself a benefactor of this culture of political patronage,” the group added.
The center said self-preservation and expansion of political dynasties in the Senate is also being replicated in the House of Representatives and in the various local government units (LGUs).
It does not help that in a rare chance that a nontraditional politician wins an election, he or she begins to create a new dynasty, CenPeg lamented.
“The concentration, expansion, and consolidation of political dynasties over the past 100 years attest to the continuing hegemony of feudal politics, the absence of any form of real democracy, and the continued powerlessness of a vast marginalized majority in the Philippines, the group said.
Originally posted at 08:00 pm | Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Tags: 2013 midterm elections , Center for People Power Empowerment in Governance , Congress , Elections , Family , Government , Liberal Party , Political Dynasties , political dynasty , Politics , UNA