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If this is your first visit, welcome! This site is devoted to my life experiences as a Filipino-American who immigrated from the Philippines to the United States in 1960. I came to the US as a graduate student when I was 26 years old. I am now in my early-80's and thanks God for his blessings, I have four successful and professional children and six grandchildren here in the US. My wife and I had been enjoying the snow bird lifestyle between US and Philippines after my retirement from USFDA in 2002. Please do not forget to read the latest national and International News in this site . I have also posted some of my favorite Filipino and American dishes and recipes in this site. Some of the photos and videos in this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringing on your copyrights. Cheers!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Family Dynasty in Philippine Politics

The Marcos Family Dynasty

Politics in the Philippines has always been under the control of a few notable and rich families. It is very common for a politician's son, wife, brother, cousins or other kinsman, to run for the same or other government office. Thus the Philippines is really not a true democracy but an oligarchy.

This can be traced back to the Spanish colonial times where favored families are of the mestizo stock, that is Filipinos with Spanish blood. During this period and later, family names such as Cojuangcos, Lopezes, Marcoses, OsmeƱas and Aquinos became household names. In Marinduque, the family names of Nievas, Nepomucenos and Reyeses were popular political names.

The Constitution of the Philippines in 1987 states in Article II Section 26, "The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law." Political dynasties have been a present staple in Philippine political arena since 1946.

Many have called for the Congress to pass the Anti-Dynasty Law, but this bill has been passed over by each Congress since 1987. Some have pointed that oligarchy is the root problem of all the corruption in the Philippine government.

An Empirical Analysis of Political Dynasties in the 15th Philippine Congress by Ronald Mendoza and others from the Asian Institute of Management concluded that on the average, political dynasties possess higher net worth and win in elections by larger margins of victory compared to non-dynastic representatives. Their dynastic jurisdictions are also associated with lower standards of living (as measured by average income) and lower human development (as measured by the Human Development Index), and higher levels of deprivation (as measured by poverty incidence, poverty gap, and poverty severity).

This paper indicates that political dynasties are not good for the Philippines and must be prohibited. An Anti-Dynasty Law must be passed, but since 75% of the law makers are members of the Dynasty clan, it will be impossible for this law to pass. There is a saying that this law will only pass if Hell freezes in the Philippines.

Among the Family Dynasties as listed in Wikipedia are as follows: the Abad family in Batanes, the Arroyo Family of Pampanga, the Marcos Family of Ilocos Norte, The Cojuangco Family of Tarlac, the Reyes Family of Marinduque and Palawan, The Aquino Family of Sorsogon and Agusan del Sur and the Recto family of Batangas. The Wikipedia listed more than 80 names that are associated with political dynasties.

It would appear that in Marinduque, the Reyes Dynasty will continue. I read in FaceBook today, that Gina Reyes daughter of the current governor, Carmencita Reyes has submitted her candidacy for Governor in the next year elections. The Reyes clan had been in Marinduque politics for more than 40 years. Is the political dynasty system good for Marinduque? Your comments will be appreciated.

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