In­tact and stronger

Sun Star Bacolod - - Opinion - om­[email protected]­ KARL OM­BION

Most dy­nas­ties are in­tact and stronger than ever.

While some of the in­fa­mous dy­nas­ties like the Estrada-ejerci­tos, En­rile, Euse­bios, Bi­nay, Jalos­los, Os­mena, Du­rano, and Javier, have suf­fered ma­jor up­set in the re­cently con­cluded midterm elec­tions, most still lord it over our ma­jor prov­inces.

Still, peo­ple have had enough of their per­ceived rot­ten lead­er­ship, loot­ing of pub­lic cof­fers and re­sources, and lav­ish life­styles. They are much-hated, and boot­ing them out of pub­lic po­si­tion is the peo­ple’s ul­ti­mate re­course.

Dy­nasty is formed by rulers of the same blood­line and in­ter­est who suc­ceed each other for a long time. And it is a sad and de­spi­ca­ble re­al­ity in our coun­try.

Ac­cord­ing to the 2017 study by Cen­ter for

Peo­ple Em­pow­er­ment in Gov­er­nance (CENPEG), there are 250 dy­nas­ties who are in con­trol of prac­ti­cally ev­ery­thing. Each prov­ince is dom­i­nated by com­pet­ing dy­nas­ties con­stantly and con­tin­u­ously vy­ing for dif­fer­ent lo­cal and na­tional po­lit­i­cal po­si­tions, and in mo­nop­o­liz­ing busi­nesses.

They have built their wealth and busi­nesses through the po­lit­i­cal power they wield in the lo­cal and na­tional lev­els.

In a study made by Philip­pine Cen­ter for In­ves­tiga­tive Jour­nal­ism few years ago, they noted that 2/ 3 of the mem­bers of the Congress are ei­ther grand­fa­ther, grand­mother, fa­thers, mothers, sons, daugh

ters, grand­sons and daugh­ters, or next of kin of big po­lit­i­cal dy­nas­ties in the coun­try.

The most stable of the old dy­nas­ties in the Visayas-min­danao for ex­am­ple, al­most un­moved by his­tor­i­cal events, are per­haps the Mar­cos,

Ro­mualdez, Ma­ca­pa­gal-ar­royo, Dima­poro, Alonto, Man­gu­da­datu, Lo­bre­gat, Adaza, Chiong­ban, Navarro, Bar­bers, Gar­cia, Lopez, Ca­gas, Al­mario, Fu­rano, Duterte, Rama, Gul­las, Gar­cia, Frasco, Martinez, Sal­im­ban­gon, Radaza, Petilla, Apos­tol, Trinidad, Torres-gomez, Tan, Ong, Yap, Re­lam­pa­gos, Chatto, Balite, Mer­cado, Uy, Espina, Villa, Ro­camora, Biron, De­fen­sor, Garin, Tu­pas, De Asis, Ba­biera, and


In Ne­gros is­land, the more prom­i­nent and big dy­nas­ties are the Ledesma, Mara­non, Es­calante, Ben­itez, Lac­son, Loc­sin, Golez, Araneta, Torres, Fer­rer, Yulo, Peñas, Zayco, Al­varez, Mon­ti­nola, Bil­bao, Limkai­chong, Ar­naiz, Teves.

Dur­ing the boom of su­gar in­dus­try, Ne­gros dy­nas­ties have been known for mak­ing pres­i­dents and un­seat­ing na­tional of­fi­cials un­friendly to su­gar planters, millers and traders, and no less, in treat­ing their “sakadas” like slaves.

In the grim years of mar­tial rule, a num­ber of them were also in­stru­men­tal in or­ga­niz­ing and fi­nanc­ing pri­vate ar­mies, para­mil­i­tary forces of the army, and death squads, all in­stru­men­tal in in­sti­tu­tion­al­iz­ing reign of terror and vi­o­lence in ru­ral ar­eas.

For a long time, these are the known fam­i­lies and clans who have con­trolled leg­isla­tive dis­tricts, cities and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties. They have been play­ing cru­cial role in busi­ness, pol­i­tics and cul­ture; some pos­i­tive, oth­ers de­struc­tive.

Due to their economic pos­ses­sions, their po­lit­i­cal po­si­tions have con­se­quently been used as ex­ten­sion of their ha­cien­das, farms and other busi­ness in­ter­ests.

They in­vented and nur­tured the pa­tron­age sys­tems, giv­ing projects to their fa­vored con­trac­tors, giv­ing most ser­vices to their own work­ers, and built

a huge network of cap­tive vot­ers to en­sure their vic­tory in ev­ery lo­cal and na­tional elec­tions.

For now, these dy­nas­ties es­pe­cially the younger mem­bers are try­ing to adapt to new con­di­tions, more civil and pro­fes­sional in their man­age­ment of the var­i­ous af­fairs of their fam­i­lies and clans, and also learn­ing the big­ger pic­ture of the su­gar in­dus­try and the Philip­pine econ­omy in gen­eral. They have also put aside terror and vi­o­lence in their con­duct of their busi­ness and pol­i­tics, but still and al­ways ready to re­sort to it when nec­es­sary.

The old guards of these dy­nas­ties have turned into fi­nanciers, king mak­ers and power bro­kers, en­sur­ing that the prop­er­ties and in­ter­ests of their fam­i­lies and clans are safe­guarded and ex­panded even more, and their com­mu­ni­ties and hubs are well se­cured.

De­spite some changes in their mode of be­hav­iors and con­duct of po­lit­i­cal and economic af­fairs, dy­nas­ties re­main con­sol­i­dated and stronger than ever.

With Duterte’s dis­play of ma­cho-au­to­cratic ways of pres­i­dency, it is pos­si­ble that these dy­nas­ties, or those aligned with the ad­min­is­tra­tion will get em­bold­ened to do the same to re­pro­duce and con­sol­i­date fur­ther their po­lit­i­cal and economic power.

A friend once com­mented that dy­nas­ties is not only a fact of Philip­pine po­lit­i­cal life, but an in­te­gral com­po­nent of the rul­ing sys­tem, and the only way to de­cap­i­tate them is to over­haul the rul­ing sys­tem it­self.

I re­sponded “it’s true, but who will and can change it, and when and how long?”

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