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Is Political dynasty the same as political destiny?
by Marjonkate Lee Belino

The Wiktionary says political dynasty occurs when a family or group maintains power for several generations.

On the other hand, political destiny is fate.

The Philippines has its share of political dynasty. Several families in this nation occupy political seats for several years. These positions are handed down not only to the family members but also to relatives and in-laws.

Can the politicians call it fate when they move heaven and Earth just so their clan or in-laws could join politics?

Our Constitution provides that the State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.

But this provision of the Constitution, which was crafted 26 years ago, remains ignored by our legislators. They fail, or simply, do not want to pass a law that will implement this provision in the Constitution, or that which will bar political dynasty.

Our country is full of notable families or clans whose members have either occupied or are occupying political seats. Some, at least those who are more prudent, do not hold position at the same time.

But most of the time, families and their in-laws rule a locality with a member occupying the executive and legislative departments of a province, town or city, down to the barangay.

It has been a practice for the politicians to seek election with their sons, daughters, wife, brothers, sisters, or other relatives.

Where is their delicadeza?

Others treat political power as something that must be passed on to their heirs. They consider this a legacy that must be carried on in the family.

Why do we still vote for them? Maybe because their family names are known or we just don’t have a choice. Or maybe they are good public servants. I hope the latter is the reason.

Localities from North to South have their shares of political dynasties. In the Ilocos region, the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan are ruled by political families.

We also have political dynasties in the Cordillera, particularly in Abra, Apayao and at one point in time, in some towns in Mountain Province.

The same holds true in Region 2, like the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela.

In Central Luzon, Pampanga and Zambales have also their share of families with members and in-laws occupying positions in government.

This also holds true for Tarlac. Although those who are holding political positions do not carry the same family names, they nonetheless belong to the same clan.

In Region IV, a prominent clan in Cavite is also into politics, the in-law, included.

Political dynasties also abound in Metro Manila like San Juan City and Makati City.

In the South, there are political dynasties in Bukidnon, Zamboanga, and Maguindanao. There are several more areas that are ruled by political families and their in-laws.

This election, these popular names are again seen all over the place. The same faces are seen and the same promises are heard.

This is a challenge not only to our new registered voters but also to those who have been voting for the past several years. The future is in our hands. Think several times before shading the ovals corresponding to the names of the candidates you like to vote. It’s not popularity that counts. It’s not only the work done, but also the work to be done in the future that matters.

We should not patronize dirty politics, which has been bugging our country for several years. Let us realize that political dynasty is not the same as political destiny.
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