Tool on Philippine Congress Website Reveals Political Dynasties
In what could be a case of unintended consequences, a tool on the website of the Philippine House of Representatives reveals which families have made political power a family tradition of sorts.
The Online Roster of Philippine Legislators, which lets visitors filter through a list of Congressman past and present, shows a high number of similar family names under the “By House Members” filter. As local blogger Raymond V. Palatino points out:
Indeed, the database shows that local politics in the past century were dominated by only few families. While it’s not unusual for a veteran candidate to emerge undefeated in the polls, it’s quite disturbing that the winner is always from the same family. Maybe it’s the application of Einstein’s Theory of Relativ(e)ity?
So just can you use the Online Roster to ferret out political dynasties? Here’s a simple step-by-step:
Go to the Online Roster of Philippine Legislators at congress.gov.ph/orphil.
Click on Select View Options. Four filters appear.
Select “By Province/City”, then select a location on the list below. Let’s try Batanes. Click on the Go button above.
Watch the list of legislators dating from the current term to 1907 load. Lastly, click on the Sort by Name button. If you find many similar names, chances are you’ve encountered a political dynasty!
Palatino has compiled a list of dynasties he’s found here, with screenshots from the Online Roster included. Everyone knows the Aquinos and Marcoses have long held power in Tarlac and Ilocos Norte respectively. We even know about the Roxas family’s dominance in Capiz (Roxas City was renamed from Capiz City in honor of the former President after all). But thanks to the Online Roster, we now know about the Dimaporos of Lanao Del Norte, the Ortegas from La Union, and the Duranos, Gullases and Osmeña’s of Cebu.
Are political dynasties bad? Palatino thinks so:
It can be argued that dynastic political families also exist in other democratic societies; but the Philippines has a negative experience with the political dominance of warlord families which prompted the delegates of the 1987 Constitutional Commission to insert an anti-political dynasty provision in the new Constitution. The pertinent provision refers to Article 2 – Declaration of Principles and State Policies, Section 26: The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.
Congress has not yet passed a law which would define political dynasties. Of course there are good political dynasties; but a dynasty is a dynasty is a dynasty (it’s also a TV show, a friend from East Timor reminded me through twitter).
This entry was posted on Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 9:09 am and is filed under Sites. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.