Bets clash on political dynasties in PDI forum

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KNOW YOUR CANDIDATES Grace Poe answers a question during the 3rd and final Philippine Daily Inquirer Senate Forum held at Cebu Cultural Center, University of the Philippines Cebu campus. Waiting for their turn at the microphone are (from left) Migz Zubiri, Dick Penson, Eddie Villanueva, Samson Alcantara, Sonny Angara, Rizalito David and Teddy Casiño. JUNJIE MENDOZA/CEBU DAILY NEWS

CEBU CITY—They may have differing definitions of what constitutes a political dynasty.

But the eight senatorial candidates who joined the Cebu leg of the Inquirer Senate Forum on Friday agreed on one thing at least: the need to level the playing field by bringing down the exorbitant cost of political ads.

Party-list Rep. Teddy Casiño (Bayan Muna), who is running as an independent, said he had authored several antidynasty bills, none of which got anywhere in Congress because of opposition from lawmakers belonging to the big political families.

Going by his own definition of what a political dynasty is, Casiño said the wife, children, parents and siblings—or second-degree relatives—should not be allowed to run for a post being vacated by an outgoing elective official.

Not just Angaras

“There are other families who have young and budding politicians and not just Angara alone,” Casiño said, pointedly referring to Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, who was at the forum.

Angara, a candidate of the administration’s Team PNoy stood up, walked to the front of the stage and, smiling, said Casiño’s definition of political dynasty did not apply to him because his father, outgoing Sen. Edgardo Angara, was retiring in June. He then returned to his seat.

The elder Angara, who has to bow out because of term limits, is the longest-serving senator in the post-Edsa legislature, having served 24 years in the chamber. This means that after serving two consecutive terms, he would take a mandatory one-term break and run again. Now that he has apparently decided to retire, his son, if he wins, will ensure there will continue to be an Angara in the Senate.

“Everyone must be given an equal opportunity to serve,” Sonny Angara told the capacity crowd at the Cebu Cultural Center.

But voters should not elect him because of his family name but because of his track record, he said.

Angara and Casiño were among the eight senatorial candidates who showed up for the third and final session of the Inquirer Senate Forum that focused on the issue of political dynasties.

The six others were former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri of the United Nationalist Alliance, Bro. Eddie Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas, Rizalito David of the Kapatiran Party, Mary Grace Poe of Team PNoy, Samson Alcantara of the Social Justice Society and independent candidate Ricardo Penson.

Constitution is clear

According to Alcantara, there is no need to define what a political dynasty is because the Constitution is clear that “political dynasties are prohibited,” whether they are good or bad.

A political dynasty is not like cholesterol “where there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol,” bacteria “where there is good bacteria and bad bacteria.”

David and Penson agreed that the Constitution has already sufficiently defined what a political dynasty is.

The constitutional provision against dynasties has not been implemented because the electorate keeps voting the wrong officials into office, said Penson.

An antidynasty law is long overdue, he said.

“If they had any sense of decency, they (scions of politicians) would not run anymore. The definition in the Constitution is very clear,” said David.

Signature campaign

He said his party has been conducting a signature campaign in the church parishes for a people’s initiative calling for a referendum that would allow the people themselves to enact the law against political dynasties.

Kapatiran is confident that it can get the required 5.2 million signatures so that he can see an antidynasty law in two years, said David.

Poe said emerging political leaders who are not members of political families, are discouraged from running for elective posts because they don’t have the financial capability to run a campaign.

She cited the prohibitive cost of radio and TV ads where a one-minute, 20-second ad costs as much as P1.2 million.

Poe said she agreed with the Commission on Elections’ move to impose airtime limits on political advertisements on TV and radio because it, in effect, levels the playing field.

Like Poe, Villanueva said candidates were saddled with high airtime rates for political ads.

He said he had to pay P500,000 for a 30-second television ad. But when elected into office, a senator is paid only about P100,000 a month, he said.

But with regard to the political dynasty issue, Villanueva reiterated his earlier stand that no one should be discriminated against for serving the country through government service because of his or her family name, for as long as they are competent and of good moral standing.

Outstanding dynasts

Zubiri said there are scions of political clans who have excelled and even exceeded the performance of their parents and grandparents.

He cited former Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano, the Liberal Party’s candidate for the 5th district of Cebu, who belongs to the Durano clan, and Cebu Rep. Pablo John Garcia, who is running for governor under One Cebu, which is allied with UNA.

Zubiri described Durano as mabait (a good person) and “napakadesente (really decent). Garcia, he said, “was better than his father,” Cebu Rep. Pablo Garcia. Reports from Charisse Ursal, Jason Baguia Bernadeth Rosales and Connie E. Fernandez

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • farmerpo

    Saan ang Binay?
    TV ad : Poe, as much as Php1.2M for 20 seconds, Villanueva, P.5M for 30 seconds.
    And a senator is paid only P100K per month! So, why are you running for senator?

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      Think pork and just send it to fake NGOs. senate seat is a secure and honorable. Secure because the whole family can keep the seat, just create your own political dynasty this make their family live in luxuries for life. “Honorable” because they said so. What’s honorable about their deeds? You call these criminals, plunderers, liars, corrupt and thieves “honorable” in Congress and Senate?
      These politicians want to keep the rest of the population in poverty so that they can easily manipulate them during elections. A couple of hundreds and these poor and unemployed Filipinos will sell their votes to survive hunger for a couple of days.

      • buttones

        Exactly,
        “Where’s the Pork?” is the first question on the lips of a new senator, saying “I’ve
        just blown 100 million on getting here and I’ve only got three years to get it
        back and I can’t do that on 100k a month..”
        Or, maybe these people are altruistic, benevolent, charitable, they only ‘want to serve the people’ and offer their ‘brilliant minds’ to solving the nations problems? Is that a feasible theory? Or is it just a load of hogwash? [Again]

      • pedronimo

        Buti pa si Willie Revillame maski di politiko nakaka-tulong sa nangangailangan. Pero Yung mga Binay, Estrada, Revilla, at iba pang mga artista, lahat iyan ay mga nanaghahanap lang ng Kuarta.

      • buttones

        Very true, it’s the money for most of them to support their legitimate and illegitimate offspring for one thing and get them into the running…and to support their lifestyles. We have had 67 long years of this continuing failure other than to be a failed third world state. We have ended up as “Hell ruled by Filipinos” as Quezon wanted…..

    • mamer2

      The “eternal question” that is being left UN-Answered by those concerned.

      Let HE/She(meaning the CANDIDATES)…, Who is without SIN cast
      the 1st stone of wisdom, understanding and information so the PUBLIC May Know.

    • BOYPDAF

      PERKS ,allowances,chairmanship honoraries!malaki pa sa sewldo and of course the pork itself pambawi..

  • punto_lang

    Alam na kung sino ang huwag iboto. HUWAG IBOTO YUNG AYAW MAGKAROON NG ANTI-POLITICAL DYNASTY LAW KASI MAGPAPAYAMAN SILA SA PULITIKA. If Bro. Villanueva was properly quoted here, that is disgrace to his alleged advocay. Imagine kinukumpara na niya yung gastos niya sa kikitain niya sa senado. Kunwari pa na hindi nila alam mga perks and benefits pag nahalal sila. PWE!

  • $8705409

    But the eight senatorial candidates who joined the Cebu leg of the Inquirer Senate Forum on Saturday agreed on one thing at least: the need to level the playing field by bringing down the exorbitant cost of political ads.

    Funny thing about the statement above is that when they don’t agree on what constitute a political dynasty they look for a common ground they would agree upon just to engage some postitive discussion out of it. They themselves should know they can’t control the price. It is all about economics – the law of supply and demand. Prices go up because demand for media space is so huge that only one with deep pockets have the advantage. Ask us what construde a political dynasty. Even if we lack the words to define it we knew what it is by giving some examples of prominent names( e.g. BINAY, AQUINO, ESTRADA,) THEY ALL HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON. AND WE KNOW WHAT’S THAT!

  • pilosopo4

    We all know politics is profitable…if it were’nt you would not see any of these dynasties period!

  • jackereno

    dapat kasi alisin na ang pork barrel para ang mga seryoso mag serve sa government ay sila na lang ang magkaka interes na maging sinador at congressman. part of that pork barrel instead pay for political ads (free) para same level field sa airtime. another portion of the pork barrel be spent on job creation, like joint venture bet. the gov’t and reputable foreign companies – creating companies in every province to decongest manila. seconddly, dapat ban na ang political dynasty, only few oligarchs are controlling the funds of the gov’t. thirdly, dapat loyalty sa party, bawal ang balimbing, balimbing automatically should forever be banned sa politics. sila marcos number one enemy ni aquino ngayon allied na. ano yan lokohan? fourth, dapat may mataas na qualification ang candidate at voters. tama ba yung nasa bilibid ka na congressman ka pa rin.10 ang asawa mo president ka. walang quality ang mga pulitiko natin. walang patutunguhan ang bansa kung di babaguhin ni pinoy ang political system natin. parang jollibee, may maayos na business system kaya kahit wala ang may ari, still the business will run very efficiently. ang sarisari store, walang system, pag iniwan ng may ari, bagsak. during the time of ramos, tiger cub na daw tayo, hindi inayos ang political system, sila sila lang ang nanginabang sa eco progress, ayun hindi na uli sila binoto ng public. enter ERAP, para daw sa mahirap, ayun nakulong at nakisabwatan sa weting. cyle lang ang nangyayari, kunting asenso, 3 steps backward, from tiger cub to kuting uli. ganun din ang mangyayari uli pag di pinagtuunan ng pansin ni aquino ang pag reform sa political system natin.
    GOD PLEASE ENLIGHTEN THE MIND OF OUR PRESIDENT AND LET THERE BE RENEWAL OF OUR POLITICAL SYSTEM. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

  • disqus_WIkXYUshrh

    Anti-dynasty law will not reach the 1st base because it will adversely affect the powerful dynasties in both the Congress and Senate.

    Hence, the solution is still dependent on what voters want this coming election.

    • pedronimo

      Ballots won’t kill dynasties. Bullets will. As comic Gary Lising quipped, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try a gun”.

      • disqus_WIkXYUshrh

        Ha ha ha ha ha I like your comment. Kung puwede lang sana.

      • Hurtlocker1

        COOL….

  • virgoyap

    Ask Pacqiuao, Binay and Jalosjos as to what a political dynasty is? You will be contented with their answers. Ha ha ha

  • Paulstronghold

    The voters, still are the ultimate judge nonetheless. The awesome power of “money” enjoyed by big families – Binay, Angara, Dutertes, Estrada, Enrile, Ampatuans among others, they used their resources to buy big slice of advertising airtime, public relations, “padulas” among media editors, reporters and even some unscrupulous comelec officials to change election results. These are common especially in local elections. Ads and other tools, they convincingly swayed or persuade voters to believe what they’re saying no matter how untruthful the messages are. It’s what you’d call subliminal power of mass media. The power of media is here to stay.
    That’s why incumbent officials enjoyed greater mileage – a political carnage for those low IQ and less educated voters in the highlands and less developed provinces. Frankly, it’s hard to adopt an effective measure to control dynasties except to fully educate the masses of all issues surrounding candidates profiles – track records, source of riches, personal life, platforms and most important is the CHARACTER.

  • Oscar Diaz

    Vote for #1 ATTY. SAMSON ALCANTARA for Senate. Founder of Social Justice Society which advocates against political dynasties.

    • Barangkuag

      In my opinion he is one of only few candidates who really want to make CHANGE in the government! I will campaign for him as well!

      • Oscar Diaz

        Good! Thanks.

  • buttones

    Anti-dynasty, a new product to offer the masses, something that has sat for 26 years
    on the backburner. It has taken this long for the voters to wake up? Are they
    really that careless and stupid? And it’s NOT going to work anyway, 85% of the
    Congress, Province governors, City mayors Town mayors are dynastical by nature,
    they have assumed a ‘God given’ right to rule. Does any sober voter think for
    one second the dynastical body of Congress is going to pass a Law that destroys
    its very existence? These Congressional types are very ‘odd’ but they are NOT suicidal
    maniacs, and if any voter is throwing away his vote solely based on this idealistic
    nonsense he needs his head examining…

    • ApoNiLolo

      A “clean slate” will be an alternative solution. But I don’t think the people will fancy a “revolution”; overhauling our political system from top to bottom. That will place all sectors of our society outside of their “comfort zone”. : )

  • mamer2

    Mr. Casino…, what was the terms & contents of your “anti-dynasty bill”.?
    I hope, you did not interject your “communistic leanings” into it.

  • mamer2

    WHY GIVE PORK to LEGISLATURES
    (Meaning…., TO SENATORS & CONGRESSMEN)….?
    Is it not their function is ONLY to LEGISLATE…?.?
    Overseeing BOTH the Legislature and some of the functions of the EXECUTIVE would
    throw the CONCEPT of “Check and Balance” into the ‘Wind”….!.!.!

    • buttones

      Well yes, but nobody in their right mind is going to blow 100 million on getting job that pays 100K a month. If there was no pork fed to Congress there would hardly be a point in being in Congress- just to pass Laws? I say pay a proper salary, plus legit expenses and save the pork for legitimate use on infrastructure etc, not to feed the lifestyles of Congressmen, nor to buy their votes, most of who are useless anyway.

  • pedronimo

    With due respect Sirs and Madams, dynasties will never self-destruct in Congress, nor will they be eliminated by the ballots despite a strong campaign against them. They have given us no alternative. Others say that dynasties will not die from ballots but from bullets.

    • buttones

      Of course they won’t self destruct, the idea is ridiculous, but many a voter might believe it possible, like me walking on water. On ’revolution’ well that’s not going to work either, we don’t DO revolution, and at the moment it’s too hot, and then we’re into the rainy season,- too wet, then it’ll be All Saints, then the Xmas season, and then Easter and all the festivals and days off in between so there is not much time left for revolt….is there

  • kolin borrek

    The worst example of political dynasty are the Cayetanos – Alan, Pia and Lino will control 3 seats and half a billion pesos in pork barrel every year! Ask anybody what the Cayetanos have done and they would say: nothing. Zero. Zilch.

  • Killua Sandokk

    Why the hell do we need 3 Cayetanos in Congress for? Alan is a loudmouth, Pia is an air head and Lino is a bum and an addict

    • buttones

      All first class qualifications to sit in our Senate- GIGO, garbage in- garbage out….

  • mongolloyd cruz

    Bakit pinagiinitan nyo ang mga Enrile, Estra at Binay sa usaping political dynasty? 2 lang naman silang magkakadugo sa Kongreso. Ang mga Cayetano, 3 na dahil ang jobless na kapatid wala nang mapaghuthutan para sa bisyo nya.

  • josephsanchez

    e kung dinodonate nyo n lng ang mga pinang commercial nyo sa mga mahihirap. si madrigal nga magdodonate ayaw nyo naman payagan dahil sa batas. tsk tsk

  • Horst Manure

    This is the best chance ever the history of the Philippines to get rid the barrel and find some decent officials who want what’s best for the country.

    Senile, Marcos etc want what’s best for them don’t let them buy your vote don’t sell your soul or you will have the best government money can buy.

    Good government means less corruption and fully function judiciary less church interference if you back down now you will die on your knees.

  • Brix Villapando

    24 yrs na si Ed Angara sa Senado, 24 multiply by 200million pork barrel = ? (mahina ako sa Math pero 48billion ba o 480 billion?) . Ipagpalagay na 50% lang ang nakitot nya out of that so he still has 24billion o 240billion?

    Pork lang talaga ang dahilan kaya marami gustong maging senador at congressman. laki sana matitipid ng govt kung walang pork o kung may moratorium sa release nito Let’s say dapat isang beses lang ibigay ito sa bawat pulitiko during his entire term para makatipid tayo. Alam namn natin lahat na kinukurakot lang ito.

    200miliion X 24 senators=?
    75million X 300 congressmen more or less including party list=?
    Laking pera na tinatapon ng govt taon taon and to think na galing ang mga ito sa taxes natin!

  • manual47

    Abolish the “port barrel” and let’s see if these crooks will still run. Politicians who wants to serve the public need not see the color of money to motivate them. All they need is decency and good conscience to do what is best for the country and it’s citizens. The reward of having to serve the people is by itself an accomplishment. But it’s quite obvious now a days that politicians vying for political position are being driven by the money that can be derived from that government piggy bank. Quite shameful to say the least……

  • eltee mulawin

    >>>ANG MGA PULITIKO, DATING PULITIKO AT NAIS MAGING PULITIKO LAGI NA LAMANG PINAGLOLOKO AT HINHILO ANG KAISIPAN NG MGA MAMAYAN PILIPINO LALO NA ANG MGA BOTANTE.

    >>>HINDI PAKSA AT WALANG KAHALAGAHAN KUNG ANO ANG KAKAYAHAN AT KUWALIPIKASYON NG KANDIDATO SA PINAG-UUSAPAN AT ISSUE TUNGKOL SA ” ANTI-DYNASTY” NA MALINAW NAKASAAD NA PINAGBABAWAL O PRIHIBITED SA ATING CONSTITUTION.

    >>>Kung hindi nasunod noon nakaraan, dapat at tama lamang na ipatupad ng COMELEC mula ngayon at kailanman, hanggat hindi pa binabago ang Constitution ng bansa. SO IT WAS WRITTEN, SO IT SHALL BE DONE !!!!

  • BOYPDAF

    Time to add some qualifications before running in public office..must be a college graduate!if ur running in local…must be a Councilor first,,if running national must serve in ;local govt for minimum 3 years,in this sense dynasty will be reduce cause they have to start from the bottom and they will have difficulty grabbing power..in effect we will see deserving and sincere politicians

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