Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has deplored the prevalence of political dynasties in the country whose primary model is no less than the Duterte family which is fielding all three children as candidates for elective offices in Davao in the 2019 polls.
De Lima lamented that dynastic succession to political office, or dominance of political families in both national and local offices, has been more pronounced than ever under the present Duterte administration.
“The prevalence of impunity and lack of accountability enabled by Duterte has further engendered the culture on which political dynasties thrive, including the thirst for monopoly of power and dominance in patronage politics,” she said in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 413.
“It is therefore no wonder why other political families would follow suit in this showcase of avarice for political power,” she added.
Mr. Duterte’s three children are running in Davao City in the 2019 elections. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is seeking re-election, with her younger brother Sebastian as her running-mate as vice mayor, while their eldest Paolo is seeking a congressional seat for Davao’s first district representative.
The situation, obviously, ran contrary to Duterte’s earlier pronouncement of his support to the anti-political dynasty bill which has failed to be passed in the Congress.
De Lima pointed out that there is no doubt that Duterte and his family treat Davao as their kingdom, saying that “it takes a special kind of lack of delicadeza for a family to surmise that public office is a birthright and a personal entitlement.”
The Senator from Bicol maintained that with the presidential family as role model, the extent of dynastic domination of politics is pushed further than ever before.
“So now, we see spouses running for different congressional districts and siblings offering the voters of the country’s premier city no other choice but themselves,” she said.
“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. There is no clearer manifestation of this phenomenon than in the Philippines’ political dynasties spread over every region and every province,” she added.
De Lima has found it unfortunate that the Filipino people who voted for Mr. Duterte as President in hopes that he can put an end to the corruption of entrenched dynasties ended up being manipulated by another power-hungry political family.