Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Again and again: “Political Dynasty”


Observing “Our Political Context,” the Second Plenary Council of Philippines (PCP-II) – a singular month-ling and lived-in meeting of no less than some 354 lay leaders, sisters, priests, and bishops, representing the Church in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao and held on January-February 1991 – made the following quite revealing official pronouncement:

“Power and control are elitist, lopsidedly concentrated on established families that tend to perpetuate themselves in political dynasties.” (PCP –II, Acts and Decrees, n. 24)

To better appreciate the significance of the above cited rather telling and pointed pronouncement, it is in order to make the following more relevant observations: Once, that the Philippine Constitution prohibiting political dynasty, was enacted in 1986. Two, that the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines was held on 1991. Three, that the reality of political dynasties in the Philippines has in fact become even more factual and prevalent in the country as of this writing in the year 2012.

Among the many rather disturbing and wherefore discomforting conclusions that can be readily drawn from the above phenomenon are the following: The People of the Philippines have been basically under the command and pursuant control of politically powerful families long since. The Constitution of the Philippines has but a beautifully worded provision against political dynasties. The past and present administrations since the ouster of the Martial Law Regime have managed not merely to allow but also foment the reign of more and more dynastic politicians.

And whereas Philippine politics is inexorably identified with the tenure, preservation and promotion of wealth, PCP-II therefore also noted: “The poverty and destitution of the great mass of our people are only too evident, contrasting sharply with the wealth and luxury of relatively few families, the elite top of or social pyramid.” (Ibid.) This is not really a condemnation but merely a statement of fact. The same however is certainly an ardent call to a proper and just resolution of the intimate pairing of politics and wealth.

There are certain truly crusading politicians who know the problem, who know the solution, and who are trying to undo the predicament. Somehow, they are taking the right steps in order to do away with political dynasties. But somehow as well, the few well-entrenched political dynasties have managed to block every attempt and more to neutralize them.

When oh when will dynastic politics disappear from the Philippine scene? What will the people of the Philippines have to do – and when will they do it?