The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines: Article 2 - Declaration of Principles and State Policies, Section 26 states that:
This provision clearly prohibits the existence of political dynasties in the country to preclude equal access to public service and the right for people to choose in the local election. However, it is not self-executory, meaning the provision needs an implementing law before it can be applied. Unfortunately, no such law has been approved in twenty years, mainly because of disagreements on the definition of a political dynasty, thus it continues to exert a pervasive influence on Philippine politics. Furthermore, the democratic character of the government, allows such groups to justify their existence and thrive under the mantle of legitimacy. It is true that no political family should exercise monopoly of leadership but they have all the economic resources and political clout to do so.
In section 115 of the Election Code of the Constitution, there is a proposed definition of political dynasty that was included but was not approved. The proposal prohibits persons having the same civil degree of relationship to run in any elective position in the same political unit in the same election. It also does not allow any persons with the same civil relationship, including legal or common-law partners, to succee an incumbent position of the latter.
Former Sen. Juan M. Flavier has authored SB 12 that defines and prohibits political dynasties. It refers political dynasty as “the concentration, consolidation, or perpetuation, of public office and political powers by persons related to one another.” Persons holding office and related within the third civil degree of consanguinity or affinity – including their spouses and the spouses of their brother-in-law and sister-in-law – will already be deemed to be in a political dynasty relationship.
There is a related piece of legislation that was filed in the House of Representatives, authored by Rep.Emilio C. Macias II – HB 44, that seeks to ban local officials from occupying the next higher position which they had previously occupied and for which they had served for three consecutive terms. The bill is currently pending in the House Committee on Local Government. If enacted into law, the bill will effectively prohibit an elected local official from filling a permanent vacancy by way of succession in the offices of the governor, vice governor, mayor or vice mayor during the prohibitive term or the term of office immediately after the third consecutive term.
While there is still no enacted law for these provisions, the Constitution has provided that all elective officials, from congressmen to municipal councilors, be limited to three consecutive terms. The idea was to limit the power of political clans. Unwittingly, the opposite has happened as the three-term limit gave the opportunity for political dynasties to perpetuate themselves in power. After their three-term is over they would either put thier spouses or their children or any relative to replace them for the post that they would leave and they would run for another post as there is no law saying that they cannot do so.
Now, the Constitution passed the enactment of these provisions to the Congress but the reality is that the dominant members of the House belong to political dynasties, which cannot be expected to legislate their own demise as a political entity. However, the politicians think that if people do not like you, they would not vote for you.
14th Congress of the Philippines
In the 14th Congress, there is a decrease in the number of legislators coming from political families but this does not mean, however, that they don't rule because they still do. According to GMA news research, there is at least 76 percent of the legislative representatives which belongs to political families compared to the 83% of the last Congress, still, 76% of the elected House Representatives comes from political families which is still a large margin to the 24 percent of the non-political family members.
The decrease in number of clans among the district representatives maybe due to the retirement of some political families, lost of the old-timers to the new-timers, some are in their end-term (has completed their three-term in the office), and some has sought new posts. These mean that it is not yet definite that political clans have lost their touch in their districts. These may also mean that there are new generation of political families surfacing the government.
Here is a list of the candidates from political families who ran in the May 2007 Election but lost:
|Legislative District||13th Congress Representative/ Term||Relative (Candidate)||Relation|
|Bukidnon, 1st District||J.R. Nereus O. Acosta/ 3rd||Ma. Lourdes Acosta||Sister|
|Cebu, 2nd District||Simeon L. Kintanar/ 3rd||Carmiano Kintanar||Cousin|
|Cebu, 3rd District||Antonio P. Yapha, Jr./ 3rd||Estrella Yapha||Wife|
|Davao City, 3rd District||Ruy Elias C. Lopez/ 3rd||Rene Elias C. Lopez||Sibling|
|Eastern Samar, Lone District||Marcelino C. Libanan/ 3rd||Elda Ellado Libanan||Wife|
|Ilocos Sur, 1st District||Salacnib F. Baterina/ 3rd||Bertrand A. Baterina||Nephew|
|Leyte, 3rd District||Eduardo K. Veloso/ 3rd||Marie Therese U. Veloso||Wife|
|Manila, 4th District||Rodolfo C. Bacani/ 3rd||Maria Aurora C. Bacani||Wife|
|Manila, 5th District|||Joey D. Hizon/ 3rd||Estrelita S. Hizon||Wife|
|Masbate, 2nd District||Emilio R. Espinosa, Jr./ 3rd||Ma. Lourdes Lilia K. Espinosa||Niece|
|Misamis Oriental, 2nd District||Augusto H. Baculio/ 3rd||Augustus Rex Reyes Baculio||Son|
|Negros Oriental, 1st District||Jacinto V. Paras/ 3rd||Olivia P. Paras||Wife|
|Northern Samar, 2nd District||Romualdo T. Vicencio*deceased/ 3rd||Caesar Opiña Vicencio||Son|
|Pampanga, 1st District||Francis L. Nepomuceno/ 3rd||Gerard De Leon Nepomuceno||Son|
|Pangasinan, 3rd District||Generoso D. Tulagan/ 3rd||Generoso Domingo Tulagan, Jr.||Son|
|Biliran, Lone District||Gerardo J. Espina, Jr./ 1st||Gerardo S. Espina, Sr.||Father|
|Surigao del Sur, 2nd District||Peter Paul Jed Falcon/ 1st||Jesnar Falcon||Father|
|Caloocan, 2nd District||Luis Asistio/ 1st||Albert Muñoz||Nephew|
List of Political Clans
At present, it is estimated that there are over 150 Political Dynasties in the Philippines today. Find out who they are: