In the Philippines, there are many elected officials that come from the same family. This has been referred to as
political dynasty. This paper seeks to investigate why political dynasties exist, what are the negative and positive effects to the country,
and what can be done to educate the voters. Political dynasties should be banned in certain branches of the government to enhance
equal access to political opportunities and to widen the base for the selection of government officials.
"It is defined as succession of government leadership from the same family. It may sound the same as the monarch government, but
political dynasty has a totally different meaning. Is there something wrong with political dynasty? If you are going to study article II
section 26 1987 Philippine Constitution, it states that the state should have equal access to public service opportunities and it should
prohibit the practice of political dynasty. Hence, political dynasty goes against the state policy."
" The trend of political dynasty must be immediately stopped to restore the authentic ideals of democracy and to bring back the
people’s trust in the political system and governance and to cease the perpetual suffering of the people under the exploitative schemes
and systems of greed for money and lust for power called political dynasty."
"MANILA, Philippines—A political party set to participate in next year’s elections on Saturday said it has started collecting signatures
for a people’s initiative for a law that would prohibit political dynasties in government.
The Social Justice Society’s initiative, entitled “An Act Defining Political Dynasties that are Prohibited under Article II, Section 26 of
the 1987 Constitution, and Providing Penalties for its Violation,” received the first signatures from the party’s members as well as
students, teachers and other supporters in the academic sector.
“Those who say that there’s nothing wrong with political dynasties, that they are good public servants despite belonging to dynasties,
are just greedy for political power. There many other Filipinos who have the same ideas and plans for good governance. Political
dynasts should not be allowed to monopolize opportunity to serve the country,” SJS president Samson Alcantara told the INQUIRER
in an interview.
“They close their eyes to the fact that there is a constitutional policy against dynasties. The greed for political must be moderated.
Those who advocate social justice should practice it. Those who invoke the Constitution must not brazenly undermine the policies
enshrined therein,” he added.
Alcantara, a lawyer who is running for Senate under SJS in the 2013 polls, said the initiative “will provide ample opportunity for those
who are perceived to be members of political dynasties to air their side and convince the people that there is indeed nothing wrong
with political dynasties.”
Another political group, the Kapatiran Party launched an initiative against political dynasties last April but has yet to collect signatures
since the Commission on Elections has yet to promulgate rules on the “prescribed form” for an initiative for a national law.
Alcantara said that unlike Kapatiran, the SJS will not wait for the Comelec rules. He said the party would officially notify Comelec about the initiative upon gathering 100,000 or so signatures.
“They (Comelec commissioners) should do their duty and come out with the rules soon so we can comply,” the lawyer said, adding
that he could not understand why the Comelec was taking a long time coming out with the “prescribed form.”
“An initiative for a national law or statute would take the form of our republic acts, which contain declarations of policy, definition of
terms, penal provisions, etc. There should be no difficulty crafting the prescribed form?” he said.
The SJS leader deplored the Congress’ failure to pass an antidynasty law 25 years after the Constitution was approved.
“It is generally perceived that political dynasties in both the Senate and the House of Representatives have influenced and co-opted the
Halls of Congress as their own private preserve to protect serve their familial interests, hence the failure to pass a law which defines
political dynasties.” Alcantara said.
Compared to the Kapatiran initiative and the bills against political dynasties pending in the legislature that were filed by Sen. Miriam
Defensor-Santiago and Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino, the SJS proposal is more restrictive because appointed officials are taken into
The SJS defines a political dynasty as “a family where more than one of its members, up to the third civil degree of consanguinity or
affinity, occupy any elective or appointive position in the government equivalent to the rank of salary grade 25 or higher and intents to
perpetuate itself through fielding one of its members to run for election to a public office.”
The Department of Budget and Management website lists elective and appointive officials with the salary grade of 25, earning in the
range of P50,000 monthly. Among them are city and municipal councilors, municipal vice mayors, city department heads, provincial
election officer, vocational school superintendent, district engineer, and those other ranks such as Director I, Collector of Customs V
Clerk of Court VI, Executive Assistant VI, Court Attorney VI, Professor II, State Counsel II, and Registrar of Deeds III.
Unlike the Kapatiran initiatives and the two bills which distinguish between national and local positions, the SJS initiative prohibits
any member of political dynasty, including his spouse, from running for any elective position, including running to succeed an
incumbent elective official who is a relative.
Under the Constitution and Republic Act No. 6735 or the Initiative and Referendum Act of 1989, a people’s initiative for a national
legislation must be signed by at least 10 percent of all registered voters and at least three percent in every legislative district.
Once the Comelec has verified the law, referendum on the proposal must be held with in 45-90 days.
In 2002, the SJS pushed for an antidynasty law from Congress via an indirect initiative, or filing a proposed law for Congress to
When Congress did not act on the proposal, SJS appealed to the Supreme Court to compel legislators to deliberate on the SJS bill.
However, the Court said it could coerce Congress, a co-equal branch of the government, to legislate.
Alcantara said a suit pending before the Court that seeks to compel the Comelec to disqualify members of political dynasties might
also suffer the same fate since the poll body is an independent constitutional body."