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Dynasties must realize there’s no forever in politics

/ 07:31 AM May 24, 2022

For the second time since the 2019 general elections, the numbers of fallen political dynasties continue to increase all over the land.

The Lopez and Bagatsing families in Manila were soundly beaten. Businessman lawyer Alex Lopez lost to Honey Lacuna by 300,000 votes. Brother incumbent Rep. Manny Lopez lost by 13,000 votes while comebacking cousin Rep.Carlo Lopez was beaten by 27,000 votes. Former Rep. Amado Bagatsing was a far third in the mayoralty race while daughter incumbent Rep. Cristal Bagatsing lost by 3,000 votes to councilor Irwin Tieng in the fifth district.

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In Quezon, Gov. Danny Suarez lost by 470,000 votes to Rep. Helen Tan while wife Rep. Aleta also lost by 46,000 votes to board member Reynante Arrogancia. Incumbent Mayor Timmy and Joey of the powerful Chipeco family of Calamba, Laguna, lost soundly in the mayoralty and congressman races.

In Bohol, former agriculture secretary and incumbent governor Arthur Yap lost by 180,000 votes to Aris Aumentado, while in Camarines Norte, incumbent Gov. Edgardo Tallado lost to Dong Padilla by 15,000 votes. Padilla is a brother of Senate topnotcher-actor Robin Padilla. In Albay, incumbent governor Al Francis Bicahara was dethroned by more than 230,000 votes by Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal .

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In Pangasinan, the battle raged between the families of Governor Amado Espino Jr. and Binalonan Mayor Ramon Guico. In the gubernatorial race, incumbent Amado Espino 3rd lost by 188,000 votes to Rep. Ramon Guico 3rd whose father, Mayor Guico also won as Congressman in the fifth district. Another Espino son, Anthony Jumel Espino lost in the second district to Rep. Mark Cojuangco, son of the deceased San Miguel patriarch, Danding.

In the senatorial races, we’ve seen the defeat of Senate Blue Ribbon committee chair, PNRC Chair Dick Gordon who placed only tenth in Olongapo City, where his relatives also lost their candidacies. National stalwarts who lost are former Vice President Jojo Binay, former senators Gringo Honasan, Antonio Trillanes, and Leila de Lima.

These upsets and defeats indicate grim realities in the political landscape. “There is no forever in politics”. Incumbents who think they are unbeatable because of long time loyalty of people around him, or people he financially supported thru the years, are now in denial stage on why and how they lost. We’ve seen many stories of overconfidence in their bailiwicks, believing they are solid and could not be corrupted by his rivals. In addition, a lot of voters today are growing to be independent thinkers. They will accept your quick money but will vote otherwise. They are aware that their vote is impossible to trace.

Special political operations to weaken the opponent’s bailiwicks are executed more than six months before every elections, enough time to gain the trust and confidence of the sought-after political leader, also enough for him to betray his former political benefactor.

These voter weaknesses are managed by political clans who field “unopposed” candidates or with “weak opponents” in modus vivendi with rival families. An example is the long time Petilla-Romualdez arrangement in Leyte. We’ve seen such arrangements of political dynasties in Pampanga, Cavite, and many others.

Comelec records show there are nine unopposed governors, 39 unopposed congressmen, and 203 city or municipal mayors. This obnoxious practice deprives the citizenry of their freedom of choice and should be stopped.

These “political dynasties” have been declared illegal by the 1987 Constitution, but the failure of all the senators and congressmen of the past 17 Congresses, to enact an enabling law, has rendered that declaration useless, for obvious reasons. They have even infiltrated the party list system into their territory.

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While they are succeeding, the Filipino voters slowly but surely are rejecting these political animals. They are now looking for new faces, new public servants, away from the “project and commission-oriented” public service of old politicians, to the new social reform-direct social service to the citizenry.

The first step is the new SK Reform Act or RA 10742 which prohibits “political dynasties” as candidates. We will elect barangay chairmen and Sangguniang Kabataan chairmen on December 5 this year. But political dynasties wanted to postpone this again to 2025, because their relatives are disqualified to run. Such brazen crap.

These politicians still think they are masters of this game of enemies, friends, and their permanent interests. Remember, there is no forever in politics because in the near future, you will be trashed by your own people in the ballot.

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