There must be something not simply lovable and endearing, not merely desirable and adorable but even downright profitable and lucrative in politics. So it is that to find a really level-headed, well-behaved and truly altruistic politician is rather hard – if any. So it is that as usually said, to meet a really poor and indigent political figure is like looking for a tiny needle in a huge haystack. And so it is that the following formal, expressed and mandatory constitutional provision is found written in rather plain and simple language as nothing less than a State Policy:
“The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.” (Section 26)
In order to demonstrate the downright futility of the above-cited State Policy, the following signal and more relevant realities are worth mentioning:
1. No less than some quarter of a century has passed after the promulgation of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. However, defining the nature and extent of “political dynasties” remain altogether undone.
2. While it is not in any way a Herculean task to have “political dynasties” defined – which is but a matter of sanguine and/or connubial affinity – the marked silence about it by the Legislators is deafening.
3. So it is that it is quite difficult to find politicians from the national to the local levels who have no close political relatives such as father/mother and children, brothers and sisters, married couples, in-laws well-included.
The rather simple truth of the matter is that the more close blood and conjugal relatives are the politicians – specially those in the two branches of the Legislative Department – the harder it is if not altogether futile to expect the long overdue mandated definition of “political dynasties”. And this is understandable although altogether censurable, considering that it has been a long standing and even long accepted reality in Philippine politics that public office is for personal advantage, for private welfare, for family gains.
Hopefully, the following rather common perception is altogether wrong: It takes neither personal good names and talents nor personal industry and achievements to run for and win an elective public office. Sadly, the following is the usual or standard understanding of what it takes to win an elective public office: “Guns. Goons. Gold.” So it is that it is hard if not altogether futile to look for and find a poor, elected public official. So it is hard as well to look for and find a poor individual with a poor family after tenure of an elective public office.
So while it is still possible that in the course of time, there is one or more Legislators in either of both chambers who would stand up and move for the legal definition of “political dynasty”, a rather big majority of them would simply remain sitting down. Sad but true!