HISTORY repeats itself like a broken record. Before, it was conjugal dictatorship and cronies. Then, it was Kamag-anak, Inc. Now, we call it political dynasty. Really, there's nothing new under the sun. The Estradas had set a bad precedent when mother and son won simultaneous seats in the Senate. In the recent election, we saw senatoriables with kin already sitting in the Senate. That's one the reasons why I did not vote for Alan Cayetano, Vic Magsaysay and Koko Pimentel (See my previous blog entry: http://inquirerbloggers.net/eleksyon2007/2007/05/16/why-i-did-not-vote-for-pichay-cayetano-et-al/). In our country, we see fathers sitting as mayors with their children sitting as congressmen. In one city, four brothers ran for mayor, congressmen for both of its districts, and party-list representative. When the local official finishes his third term, he makes his wife run for the position. Then we also discover that some of the nominees of the party-lists are children of congressmen. Why do we tolerate this? Before the election I went to Bicol. I asked a pedicab driver why he would vote for Dato Arroyo. He answered, "Siyempre anak siya ng pangulo. Eh di mas malakas sa taas." (Of course, he is the son of the president. So he must be well-connected up there.) What if Dato loses this election? Does that mean the President will neglect that district in Bicol? That is why political dynasty is so unfair. Now, these politicians claim that there's no law against it. Granted, it may not be illegal. But it is immoral. Democracy is about equality. Where is equality in political dynasty? Is there equality when power is concentrated on just a few influential families? I heard Alan Cayetano say that kings pass on power to their sons. Mr. Cayetano, we are not under a monarchy. Well, at least in a monarchy, the king dies first before the prince takes over. Why not wait for your sister to step down before you run for senator? How can siblings (or father and son as in the case of the Pimentels) be a fair representative of the entire country? Where's equality in that? They claim that they are qualified. Fine. "Sila lang ba ang mga anak ng Diyos?" (Are they the only children of God?) Are they the only ones qualified? Plus, they are not just banking on their qualifications. They are taking advantage of name recall. That's undue advantage. Did they focus solely on their qualifications in their campaign? Really now? Did the voters vote for them solely because they are qualified? Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. claimed that political dynasty is not prohibited by the ten commandments. Well, Mr. Senator, it is. God said, "Thou shalt not steal." Isn't political dynasty stealing the opportunity to serve from others? At least, Senator Panfilo Lacson had the moral courage not to allow one of his sons to run for a local elective position. He told his son not to run while he is a senator. It seems to me that it's all about power. I believe they just could not let go of power, that they just want to perpetuate themselves in power, that they lust for power so much that they want more of it. That's why any anti-dynasty bill is doomed to failure even before it is put on paper.
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THE REPORTED feud between Team Unity members Ilocos Sur Governor Luis "Chavit" Singson and Michael Defensor seems to be heating up after Singson said several Ilocano associations would not include Defensor on their sample ballots. Here's an excerpt from the Philippine Daily Inquirer article:
VIGAN, Ilocos Sur -- Governor Luis "Chavit" Singson, a candidate for senator in the administration's Team Unity, said Saturday a group of Ilocano associations will not be including another TU candidate, Michael Defensor, on sample ballots that it will be distributing.
Singson and Defensor are reportedly feuding because Defensor had allegedly suggested that Singson give up his TU slot in favor of indicted coup plotter Gregorio Honasan, an independent senatorial candidate, because the governor was doing poorly in the pre-election surveys. Singson said the Confederation of Ilocano Associations (CIA), which boasts 2.3 million members nationwide, would drop Defensor's name from their sample ballot.So, what do you think will be the outcome of this "feud"? Will they kiss and make up in time?
SIMPLENG tao, simpleng explanation. We understand him well because he means what he says. He's not the typical politician na will promise you tapos wala siyang ginagawa, pero magaling magsalita at galing daw sa "Harvard." Magaling silang lahat mambola o may asawa na artista, o artista din sila, larga na. Vicente P. Magsaysay, good luck ho sa inyo. Mabuhay! -- Edward Bautista, Vancouver, Canada (via e-mail)
I HOPE Joker Arroyo wins and then becomes Senate president, and then start from there to rebuild our country, so we will go through a regeneration process that will be for the good of all. Let us rally Filipinos behind this man who should become president. -- JESUSMA LARRAGA, 332 Tile Cross Road, Birmingham, UK (via e-mail)
I WAS rather impressed by Tito Sotto's interview. He expressed himself clearly and addressed the questions directly. I found myself actually agreeing with most of what he said. I had no idea about his political pedigree: two grandfathers were former senators! I just knew him as a local comedian. Kudos to INQUIRER.net for coming out with this series of podcasts, and ridding me of my personal biases! More power! -- MARINA VILLANUEVA, 82 United Nations St., Parañaque City, Philippines (via e-mail)
FOR Michael Defensor: Here in New Zealand, we are very proud about you, mate. You did a very good job the previous year, and you have very firm principles. I hope most of the Filipinos in the Philippines will support you. Mike, we pray for you to win in the coming elections. Your loyalty to the President is very impressive. Job well done. Good luck, Mike, and all the best. -- ISIDRO SARMIENTO, 7/81 Lake Road, Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand (via e-mail) Related Video: Here's behind-the-scenes footage from the Defensor podcast recording session taken by INQUIRER.net gaming and multimedia editor Joey Alarilla for INQUIRER.net Videos.