Political dynasties

In his column today at the Manila Times, Marlen Ronquillo wrote about political dynasties. He asks “are they good or bad?

He did not really answer his own question. Instead, he cited the proliferation of political clans from his native Pampanga spawning 2nd and 3rd generations of politicians and others spreading to many parts of the country.

Davao is likewise ruled by political clans. In fact, more than 80 percent of incumbent elected officials have relatives who were similarly elected in the past or have been in high positions. Here’s my initial list:

Mayor Rody Duterte/ Vice Mayor Sara Duterte/ Councilor Paolo Duterte – father/grandfather Vicente Duterte was Governor of undivided Davao and Secretary of General Services; brother/ uncle Benjamin Duterte was one-term City Councilor;

Speaker and 1st District Rep Boy Nograles – uncle Antonio Castillo was long-time City Councilor; uncle Pedro Castillo was 1971 Concon Delegate; brother Gerry Nograles served as one-term City Councilor

2nd District Rep Vince Garcia – father Manuel “Nonoy” Garcia was Batasan Pambansa Member and Congressman; grandfather was former Mayor Leon Garcia; a number of cousins are members of the City Council – Garcia-Monteverde-Bangoy-Reta clan

3rd District Rep Sid Ungab – father was Deputy Mayor; related also to Partylist Rep and former City Councilor Luz Calolot Ilagan;

Councilors:

Nilo Abellera – father was former City Councilor; brother was former OIC Vice Mayor;

Mabel Sunga Acosta –

Vic Advincula –

Wilberto Al-ag – brother and wife are Barangay Captains;

Dante Apostol, Sr. – father was appointed City Councilor; brother is Barangay Captain;

Leo Avila III –

Conrado Baluran – son is Barangay Councilor;

Samuel Bangoy – grandfather was former Governor; uncles and brother were members of the City Council; related with Garcia-Monteverde-Bangoy-Reta clan

Karlo Bello – grandfather was former City Mayor and Congressman; father served in many Cabinet posts;

Louie John Bonguyan – father was former City Councilor and Vice Mayor; uncle is Barangay Councilor

Pilar Braga – father was former Governor;

Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling – father is Barangay Captain; uncle former City Councilor;

Danilo Dayanghirang – relatives served in various posts in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley;

Edgar Ibuyan – son is Barangay Captain;

Peter Lavina –

Diosdado Mahipus, Sr. – brother-in-law was City Councilor;

Tess Mata-Maranon – mother was former City Councilor;

Bonifacio Militar – son is a Barangay Councilor;

Tomas Monteverde – father was long-time City Councilor; related with Garcia-Monteverde-Bangoy-Reta clan;

Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz – father and brother were City Councilors;

Susabel Reta – husband was City Councilor; brother-in-law is Barangay Captain; related with Garcia-Monteverde-Bangoy-Reta Clan;

Halila Sudagar –

Angela Librado-Trinidad – father and mother were both City Councilors;

Louie Villafuerte – father was City Councilor;

Rachel Zozobrado – father was City Councilor

The absence of genuine political parties in the country gave rise to these political dynasties. These clans played the crucial role in organizing the citizens, particularly their own relatives, provincemates and friends into potent political machineries. They have also invested resources in maintaining such political organizations in between elections. It is therefore not surprising if the same machineries would carry one of their own in the succeeding political contests.

So, are they good or bad? Your guess is as good as mine.

But judging from the sheer numbers, political dynasties must be acceptable to the electorates.

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Asean-Japan FTA

From my daily readings of on-line news, I am a bit surprised that none of our Senators who are about to ratify the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) ever talked about the recent signing of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (AJCEPA).

The latter was signed last April 14 and is the third free trade agreement of the 10-nation bloc with its northern neighbors. The first two were with China and South Korea.

What are the implications of this multilateral agreement with that of our bilateral JPEPA. This to me is a very crucial consideration.

I believe that the Senate should not rush in acting on the JPEPA until after we study the pros and cons of AJCEPA.

This was one of the major premises that prompted the City Council to pass two Resolutions last Tuesday –  the first calling on the Senate to hold in abeyance its action on the JPEPA, and second, for the Executive Department to recall JPEPA from the Senate for further study and/or renegotiation in the light of AJCEPA.

Our other premises were anchored on the many opposition to the JPEPA, particularly the secrecy of its negotiation, unconstitutional provisions, unequal terms and adverse human and environmental impacts.

In my sponsorship speech, I also raised doubt about the proposal of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago for a “conditional concurrence” of the treaty.

A conditional ratification only proves that something is wrong with the trade pact. Why not then outrightly reject it or send it back for renegotiation?!!

Voices in Congress

There’s so much noise lately about the so-called Mindanao bloc of solons in the House. But most of these I heard were about money, money, money for the island region.

I really do not know if the funds they seek are for the people or for themselves.

Here is a “gentle – if not melodious” voice in Congress that appears to have a much better advocacy. The Ilongo bloc and their attempts to craft a law to lower the costs of medicines.

(2:54 a.m.)