Pols needed, but political dynasties ruin democracy
I am not a politician but I do believe that politicians are a basic foundation of democratic institutions. Without the politicians, government tends to become autocratic. In an autocratic form of government, the citizens are mere subjects, not the “bosses” that President Aquino has publicly dubbed them. In a democratic government like we have today, the citizens regardless of status are guaranteed by the Constitution equal treatment before the law. However, too much politics undermines good governance, such that political dynasties rise, thus destroying democratic principles.
To cite some, we have the Binays in Makati City (Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Nancy Binay, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay and Makati Rep. Abigail Binay); at one time, Elenita Binay, the Vice President’s better half, was the city mayor.
And then there are the Estradas (former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada, now mayor of Manila; Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, now behind bars on plunder charges; and Sen. JV Ejercito, son of Erap by incumbent San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez). Luisa Ejercito, Erap’s wife, was also once a senator.
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano’s wife is the incumbent mayor of Taguig City; and the wife of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. (also behind bars on plunder charges) is the incumbent representative of Cavite.
In the Bicol region we also have our share of dynasties.
In Capalonga, the Jalgalados were the mayors for three decades. An in-law of theirs, Renato M. Unico, served as representative of the lone district of Camarines Norte then; he was succeeded by his son Renato Jojo; at present its his daughter is the representative of what is now referred to as the first district of Camarines Norte.
In Camarines Sur, we have the Fuentebellas, whose dynasty started way back before World War II with the late representative and ambassador Jose Fuentebella, whose moniker was “Santong Bukbukon.” There, too, are the Villafuertes, whose dynasty started with former governor and representative Luis R. Villafuerte. The incumbent provincial governor and the third-district representative belong to this family.
Our last example is not the least: The Marcoses of the Ilocos region (Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos). Some people are saying that the family is “threatening to return” to Malacañang.
Among these political dynasties, the tentacles of graft and corruption lurk.
Going back to the autocratic form of government, seldom does one find graft and corruption in there.
—GODOFREDO O. PETEZA SR.,
JP Rizal Street,
Daet, Camarines Norte
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