Homeland-wise, it seems “dynasties” continue to abound on the political map of the archipelago
History and social sciences belong to the Philippine educational system’s curricula. As school youngsters of yesteryear, ‘dynasties,’ as defined, referred primarily to birthrights: Heirs of royal
titles who reigned as sovereigns in their own kingdoms. Studies then indicated such dynasties did not hold nationwide elections like democracies do owing to their origins: descendants of “genuine
Suffice it is to state that because of the manner by which elective positions have become easily identifiable by family members’ ascent into their elders’ elective titles, pros and cons on the
meaning of ‘dynasties’ have, over time, acquired negative interpretations and translations from the Philippine voting populace. Vocal denunciations in reference to ‘dynasties’ have mounted.
Therefore, would all elections in the future be indices to the Filipino voter’s reaction to ‘dynasties?’
News accounts on our ancestral home’s political discussions continue to be weighed. Convincingly, those who “know better,” about the glaring minuses certain ‘dynasties’ have brought and are still bringing in. Many thanks to the country’s independent media, voters show more reliance on the kind of information they believe in; they have seen living proofs of what certain dynasties
Although some dynasties might not have made it to Malacanang, they have dominated provincial executive positions, i.e., as provincial legislators, but also moved on to both houses of Congress itself because of their vaunted monopoly on election outcomes.
Today’s Philippines has shown clear signs and examples of family control of political power. The latter syndrome is a genuine problem. It continues to evolve through the decades.
Heads of families who have successfully occupied top elective positions did not only pave the way for their heirs in terms of titles sought, but their children’s stance on what those ‘successes’ meant became theirs likewise.
Their families viewed how their limitless lust for power and fame with newly-acquired material wealth, evidently characterized their terms in office.
Sons and daughters did not necessarily get elected to the same positions, nor did they remain at their elders’ bailiwicks. Successful runs in their respective candidacies had their stamp of pushing
ahead of other contenders wherever they could muster the support their parents had historically enjoyed over lengthy periods of time.
As they built their own individual quests for power, wasn’t it deliberate that those title holders who enriched themselves in office, saw clearly how victory endowed them with entitlements?
Did they rear their children to achieve the same or even more, siphoned funds to allow them to build their respective empires?
Those who now have their own families in power because they ran for the same elective posts which brought them fame and fortune cannot deny that in this age of multiple and diverse sources of news, information and propaganda, the phenomenon of name recognition has served them well.
Heirs of elected officials do not have to go through the gigantic job of self-introductions to the electorate in the manner most of those ahead of them had to gain initial and consequent triumphs
that hereditary quests for power endowed them.
Thus, isn’t it easy to conclude that dynasties discourage and handicap newcomers on the political scene who are capable of offering the kind of service their constituents seek, but are unable to compete with their co-candidates, fund-wise, and lack the recognition achieved by their elders whose names have, through the years, attained multiple givens?
Deplorably, the electorate has seen ‘qualified’ candidates perfectly capable of executing distinct responsibilities and functions demanded in posts decided by elections. But they lack funds to make
it to those same offices.
Although a few candidates might get elected, aren’t they sidelined when visible races count?
In America, certain candidates bearing their family’s name have been successful in their wishes to serve their constituents. But having the name is inadequate. They have to prove how they are
capable of working for their respective offices, otherwise, their expectations for re-election won’t seek fruition.
Newspapers trace family relationships; surnames of the younger generation are revealed when they seek the same positions as their elders did, not just for legislative posts. As long as their last
names stay, candidacies will be declared irrespective of any office that evokes power and glory.
In sum, dynasties do exist still. But those who run for elective positions need to prove how worthy they are: if they should be proponents of a democratic form of government, they must indicate
how they will serve in a democracy that is defined of the people, for the people and by the people.