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A lesson and warning for political dynasties

May 17, 2019

Section 26, Article II of the Constitution provides: “The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined law.”

But the Congress has been loath to enact the principle into law. Many legislators worry only about keeping their families in control of their respective jurisdictions.

Now, in the electoral verdict handed down by the midterm elections, politicians are learning a memorable lesson and a warning: What the Congress has been unwilling to provide, the people themselves will create with their own hands. They will throw dynasts out of office.

It will take a little while to assess the extent and meaning of the electoral verdict. But the signs are unmistakable. The bell is tolling for hard-core political dynasties.

Consider the following electoral results:

For the Estrada-Ejercitos

Former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada, patriarch of the formidable Estrada-Ejercito political dynasty, could wind up as the biggest loser in the midterm elections.

In the national capital Manila, Mayor Estrada was defeated by his former ally and vice mayor, Francisco Domagoso, more popularly known as Isko Moreno. Moreno has been proclaimed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as the 27th elected mayor of Manila.

In San Juan City, where the Estrada family has held sway for 52 years, Vice Mayor Janella Estrada, Erap’s granddaughter, was roundly beaten by Francis Zamora in the mayoral race.

Janella would have been the fifth member of the clan to serve as mayor of San Juan, a tradition which Erap began when he was elected its mayor in 1969.

Elsewhere, the clan suffered other setbacks. Former senator Jinggoy Estrada appears to be losing his bid for a third term as a member of the Senate.

Only Estrada’s son, Sen. JV Ejercito, still has hopes of surviving the political tsunami that has swamped the family. JV could win reelection to the Senate if a berth opens up when a disqualification controversy is resolved.

For the Binays

In Makati, former vice president Jejomar Binay lost his run for Congress in the first district when Romulo “Kid” Peña soundly kayoed him.

As a consolation, Binay’s daughter, incumbent mayor Abby Binay, won reelection as city mayor. Significantly, her opponent was her brother, former mayor Junjun Binay.

For the Eusebios

In Pasig City, the Eusebio political dynasty, which began when its patriarch Vicente Eusebio won election as mayor in 1992, came crashing down.

The dynasty’s rival in this week’s election, Victor Maria Regis “Vico” Nubla Sotto, won by a landslide over incumbent mayor Bobby Eusebio. Pasig has known no mayor other than a Eusebio since 1992.

Eusebio’s brother, incumbent congressman Ricky Eusebio, was defeated by Roman Romulo.

For the Osmeñas

In Cebu, once called “The Osmeña country,” city vice mayor Edgardo Labella won against former mayor Tomas Osmeña in one of the most heated contests in the metropolis.

Osmena finally conceded on Monday night, when Labella’s numbers appeared to be moving away.

In Baguio City, a bemedalled police general, Benjamin Magalong, shocked the country’s summer capital, when he vanquished eight mayoral candidates, mostly well known political heavyweights and veterans in the mayoral race.

Magalong ran without support from powerful politicians or parties.

The list is random, and they represent only a partial sample of the entire archipelago. But there is a clear trend away from domination by political dynasties.

The midterm elections serve notice that the days of the once all-powerful political dynasties are numbered. The electorate will no longer take the lie of hereditary leadership, without a full accounting of achievements.

There is a rising cynicism about political dynasties and their usefulness.

Public anger seethed this time when some political clans dared to put up family members for all the coveted political offices in their jurisdictions.

The people are now pushing back.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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