Political Dynasty: an Oligarchy

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Ma. Ericka S. Magpayo
AB – 31


2013 Election is coming and hearing same family names is indeed does not make a difference and also issues regarding political dynastic are still there. The 1987 Philippines Constitution provides in article II, section 26 “The state shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibits political dynasty as may be defined by law”. Is the problem in the law or is it our understanding about the phrase “political dynasty”. Dynasty, as defined by dictionary is a succession of ruler same family or line. It is a family or a group that maintains power for several generations. As what different dynasties we've learned from our social study subject. The term dynasty is usually understood as a direct line of succession of ruling power within a country or realm, with power passed on from father to his descendant. However this definition is not valid in a republican state system where the political leaders are being elected. Therefore the term “Political Dynasty” has a meaning of a group of politicians acquiring power through electorate process, that originate from the same bloodline, but without them influencing the succession directly. The term “political dynasty” and its meaning therefore depends on the concrete situation i.e. political dynasty in the Philippines is something completely different from a political dynasty in North Korea. Politics in the Philippines has been under the control of few notable families. It is normal for a politician’s son, wife, brother, other kinsman, to run for the same or other government office. Filipinos describe this practice a “Political Dynasty”, the equivalent of an oligarchy in Political Science. Oligarchy is a form of government in which the ruling power is vested in a small privileged class of person. We can trace its roots from the Spanish colonial times where favored families of the mestizo stock, or illustrados were given...