World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Political dynasties in the Philippines


Political dynasties in the Philippines

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Philippines

Politics in the Philippines has been under the control of a few notable families. It is normal for a politician's son, wife, brother, or other kinsman, to run for the same or other government office. The term coined by Filipinos to describe this practice is "Political dynasty", the equivalent of an oligarchy in political science.

One can trace its roots from the Spanish colonial times where favored families of the mestizo stock, or the Illustrados were given responsibilities of Gobernadorcillo, or Alcalde. As such, these men have wielded some influence in their communities, and patronage politics was a common undertaking.

During the early years of American rule of the Philippine Islands, these Illustrados joined the democratic process introduced by the Philippine Bill of 1902. During this period, family names such as Cojuangcos, Lopezes, Marcoses, Osmeñas and Aquinos started to emerge, later on becoming household names.

The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines states in Article II Section 26, "The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law."

Many have called for the Congress to pass the Anti-Dynasty Law, but this bill has been passed over by each Congress since 1987. Some have pointed that oligarchy is the root problem of all the corruption in the Philippine government.[1]

Despite the entry of the Party List System in the 11th Congress, the proportion of lawmakers with relatives in elective positions have remained the same in the post-Marcos political scene.[2] The table below illustrates the percentage:

House Number Percentage Percent Without Party List
8th Congress (1987-1992) 122 62% 62%
9th Congress (1992-1995) 128 64% 64%
11th Congress (1995-1998) 136 62% 65%
12th Congress (1998-2001) 140 61% 66%

Political scientist Dante Simbulan, in a study of the elites of Philippine politics from 1946 to 1963 lists 169 prominent families. These families have produced 584 public officials, including seven Presidents, two Vice Presidents, 42 Senators, and 147 Representatives. The tables below outlines the demographics of families in politics.[3]

In the 9th Congress of the Philippines:
Representatives' relatives
who are in office
No. % of All Reps.
Parents 60 30%
Children 18 9
Spouses 16 8
Siblings 43 22
Other Relatives 56 28
In-Laws 30 15
Grandparents 35 18
In the 11th Congress of the Philippines
Representatives' relatives
who are in office
No. % of All Reps.
Parents 66 30%
Children 17 8
Spouses 25 11
Siblings 38 17
Other Relatives 64 29
In-Laws 32 15
Grandparents 40 `8
In the 12th Congress of the Philippines
Representatives' relatives
who are in office
No. % of All Reps.
Parents 71 31
Children 25 11
Spouses 22 10
Siblings 47 21
Other Relatives 60 26
In-Laws 31 14
Grandparents 41 18

In the 14th Congress of the Philippines (from July 23, 2007 to June 4, 2010), it was surveyed that more than 75% of the lawmakers are members of the old political families.[4]

See also


  1. ^ The Oligarchy in the Philippines
  2. ^ Coronel, Chua, Rimban, & Cruz The Rulemakers Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (2007); p.47
  3. ^ Coronel, Chua, Rimban, & Cruz The Rulemakers Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (2007); p.49
  4. ^ 75% sa bagong Kongreso mula sa political dynasty
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.