DYNASTIES MUST END NOW!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
It’s high time for the Filipino electorate, whether at home or in the Diaspora,
to bring an end to political dynasties. Together in the coming May 2013 elections,
we shall reject all candidates for elective office who are members of prominent
political families and elect only those who are not related by blood or social
affiliation to any political dynasty.
Although political dynasties have been with us for less than a hundred
years, it is foolhardy to think they will go away on their own. Just look at
our history. The first members of the Philippine Assembly elected in 1907 under
the American occupation were affluent Filipino politicians. It was no accident
that William Howard Taft, the American civil governor at that time, chose
members of the oligarchic elite whom he believed were more mature and better
prepared to run the affairs of popular government.
But as oligarchic as the membership of the Philippine Assembly and
Congress was during the early days, nothing much has changed. Politics in the
Philippines continues to remain under the control of a few families who are
also members of the oligarchic elite. Today, dynasties that control Philippine
politics have become the norm, where members of a politician’s family deem it
their privilege and right to run for the same or other elective office when
relatives who occupy political office have completed their term. Running for
political office is about name recognition. If you’re part of a political
dynasty and you carry the same name, you already have tremendous advantage over
These dynasties are so entrenched in our political system that they
corrupt the democratic process. They exclude others from having an equal
opportunity to run for public office. Political dynasties undermine the
principle of political equality, and as a consequence, the concentration of
political power in the hands of a few families limits the liberating potential
of the democratic process.
The current Philippine Constitution prohibits the establishment of
political dynasties, and some members of Congress have proposed legislation that
will implement this prohibition. But until such law is passed by Congress, a
scenario that will not likely see the light of day, we need to develop
alternatives for the people to harness their participation and inclusion in the
On January 24, 2013, the UP National College of Public Administration
and Governance (UP-NCPAG) will convene a forum among concerned sectors of civil
society, the academe, students, and the voting public on how Filipinos can
effectively put an end to political dynasties. Envisaged to be
transformational, the forum will launch the national movement against political
dynasties in the Philippines.
An option suggested by this petition is to reject all candidates
affiliated with political dynasties in the coming May 2013 elections. But other
alternatives will also be identified during the UP-NCPAG January 24th forum,
and as our token of support to this cause, we invite you all to sign this
petition to show that we are in solidarity with the Filipino people in putting
an end to political dynasties.
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