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April Ann A. Del Rosario


Political Dynasty
The Philippine political structure is an oligarchy under
the control of a few notable families. The term coined
by Filipinos to describe this practice is "Political
One can trace its roots from the Spanish colonial times where
favored families of the mestizo stock, or the illustrados were
given responsibilities of gobernadorcillo, or alcalde.
This phenomenon continued well into American rule of the
Philippine Islands, as Illustrados were integrated into the
democratic process introduced by the Philippine Bill of 1902.
The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines states in Article II
Section 26, "The State shall guarantee equal access to
opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties
as may be defined by law."
Many have called for the Congress to pass the Anti-Dynasty Law,
but this bill has been passed over by each Congress since 1987.
Some have pointed that oligarchy is the root problem of all the
corruption in the Philippine government.


Political Dynasty
The reality, of course, is that dynasties are far different
from what these fairy tale images convey. They are
machineries of power that seek to perpetuate their
own bloodlines and expand their reach.

In their monarchial form, dynasties exploit their

subjects, with violence as a hallmark of dynastic rule
often masquerading as benevolence, as each ruling
family seeks to dominate another.


Political Dynasty

Political Dynasty

Dynasties can define as the difference

between thin (inter-generational
succession, as in the case of Mar Roxas)
and fat (simultaneous monopoly of
seats, such as with the Binays).

Political Dynasty
Dynasties thus
thrive on inequality.



Political analysts Ronald Mendoza

did a similar study correlating
poverty and political dynasty in
2012. Those findings identified 10
provinces with the largest
dynastic sharethe
representation of dynastic
officials in the total LGU
population. Shown in the
illustration below:

Political Dynasty

Political Dynasty

Increased poverty levels mean

that those living under
dynasties do not have the
resources to challenge their

Political Dynasty
Instead, they seek to maintain their power through
webs of patron-client relations that enforce their hold
on the populace through a combination of coercion
and suasion.
It is akin to what one American political theorist called
the gangster theory of life.
In effect, political dynasties-by hoarding wealth--also
monopolize political capital.
They thus discourage citizens
from launching any effective
challenges to their rule.

Political Dynasty
In the Philippines, it is
normal for a politician's
son, wife, brother, or
other kinsman, to run
for the same or other
government office. It is
commonly describe as
political dynasty.


There are many politicians

of today monopolize the
politics on their respective
provinces, like the Josons
of Nueva Ecija, Magsaysay
and Gordon of Zambales,
Cojuangcos, Aquinos,
Marcoses, etc.

Lack of political competition and the prevalence

of political dynasties impact socio-economic
outcomes in Three Ways:
it prevents the majority of citizenry from
communicating their needs to the
Dynasties compromise democratic
institutions by using powers for self-serving
Skew the selection of political leaders
favoring those with influencethwarting the
best, the brightest, and the most deserving
from government service.

Are political dynasties necessarily all

Those who defend dynasties argue that they provide strong
and capable leaders, well-known and respected in their
Another argument is that, given the small pay and long hours
involved in government service, there is little to entice them
to join electoral politics, barring corruption.
Political dynasties can thus produce qualified and dedicated
These claims may be difficult to substantiate, but Philippine
history does include a number of families that have not only
shown great aptitude and concern for honest public service.
One can argue that not every dynastic family is bad,
especially if they are sufficiently thin, qualified and
compassionate, and some have done the country significant
good across more than one generation.

Advantages and disadvantages

of political dynasty?

Major Advantages:
is in fundraising. With the huge costs of running

for office; the financial connections of a dynasty

makes it difficult for all but personally wealthy
individuals to run for office.

Major Disadvantages:
is that these same financial contributors want

something in exchange for their money, so the

state, governorship, Senate, or Congress is
disadvantaged when votes cast favor those who
bought them, instead of what is best for the
country or state.

Advantages and disadvantages

of political dynasty

Other Advantages:
is that sons or members of the bloodline

running in government position have

enough background on politics and wellversed in governance. They are used-to in
leading people.
It has many advantages especially if the
family has a good track in their services
and maintains integrity in their office.

Advantages and disadvantages

of political dynasty

Other Disadvantages:
Having this system is the tendency of harboring

The thirst for dominion will ruin not just the
government but its people. Fame and popularity
of the family will surely find them a good place in
the government office.
What puts Filipino people in jeopardy regarding
this political dynasty lies in the saying whatever
the tree, so is the fruit. If corruption finds its way
in the family, it is not impossible in the next
generation who will inherit the power.