[PHOTO -CenPeg criticized the senatorial slates formed by the ruling Liberal Party and its rival United Nationalist Alliance. It particularly referred to the Cayetano, Enrile, Estrada and Magsaysay families who each might have two representatives in the Senate.]

MANILA, OCTOBER 8, 2012 (INQUIRER) A civil society group on Wednesday slammed the “blatant” expansion of political dynasties in the country.

Noting the number of sons, daughters, wives, cousins and other relatives of entrenched politicians in the lineups for next year’s midterm polls, the Quezon City-based Center for People Power Empowerment in Governance (CenPeg) said this did not augur well for democracy.

“Definitely alarming today is the entrenchment of the system of political dynasties on a higher and more blatant scale, making the fair representation of the large majority of Filipinos even more elusive.”

CenPeg criticized the senatorial slates formed by the ruling Liberal Party and its rival United Nationalist Alliance. It particularly referred to the Cayetano, Enrile, Estrada and Magsaysay families who each might have two representatives in the Senate. Add to this the relatives of President Benigno Aquino—a young cousin and an aunt.

“What is definitely emerging as a scandalous reality is that political dynasties are more blatant and active today.”

CenPeg warned that the people are more and more aware of ills brought by political dynasties and are slowly expressing their distaste towards the system.

“The current national and media uproar against the blatant and ostentatious display of oligarchic power should lead to positive and constructive steps toward people empowerment,” the group said.

Patron-client relationships and the corporate interests of politicians in Congress will also reflect in the type of laws that would be passed.

“Expect the present and future congresses to enact more laws that will favor the oligarchs and corporate elite,” CenPeg said.

A government that is dominated by oligarchs, the group added, will not equalize opportunities for growth and development among the vast majority of people, the group continued.

“Conditions to form ‘more of the same’ are more encouraging than ever under the administration of Mr. Aquino, himself a benefactor of this culture of political patronage,” the group added.

The center said self-preservation and expansion of political dynasties in the Senate is also being replicated in the House of Representatives and in the various local government units (LGUs).

It does not help that in a rare chance that a nontraditional politician wins an election, he or she begins to create a new dynasty, CenPeg lamented.

“The concentration, expansion, and consolidation of political dynasties over the past 100 years attest to the continuing hegemony of feudal politics, the absence of any form of real democracy, and the continued powerlessness of a vast marginalized majority in the Philippines, the group said.

Is Pacquiao building a dynasty? Philippine Daily Inquirer

[PHOTO -PACQUIAO POLITICS Reelectionist Rep. Manny Pacquiao signs his certificate of candidacy at the Comelec office in Alabel, Sarangani, on Tuesday. At right is Pacquiao’s wife, Jinkee, who is running for vice governor of Sarangani province. SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE]

GENERAL SANTOS - If political families can build dynasties, why not boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao?

Pacquiao himself has announced his reelection bid as representative of Sarangani’s lone congressional district. His wife, Jinkee, is running for vice governor of the province, while his youngest brother, Rogelio, wants to become a congressman of neighboring South Cotabato, too.

[PHOTO -Jinkee Pacquiao to run for Sarangani vice governor: Jinkee Pacquiao, wife of boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, will run for vice governor of Sarangani province. Jinkee filed her certificate of candidacy for vice governor in Alabel town Tuesday, according to Alvin Quiñanola, the province’s election officer. Pacquiao himself has announced his reelection bid as Sarangani representative. In an apparent bid to tighten his political grip, Pacquiao forged an alliance with the Chiongbian family and his party will be fielding Sarangani Vice Governor Steve Chiongbian-Solon in the gubernatorial race. He paired his wife Jinkee with Solon. Inquirer Mindanao]

The boxer’s People Champ Movement (PCM) has teamed up with Vice President Jejomar Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) in fielding Rogelio in the congressional race for the first district of South Cotabato.

Rogelio, chairman of Barangay (village) Apopong here, will run against the incumbent, Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr., a former mayor.

Jinkee will be the running mate of Steve Chiongbian Solon, the incumbent vice governor, who will be seeking the gubernatorial post against possibly incumbent Gov. Miguel Dominguez, who is in his last term.

The team-up indicates an alliance that Pacquiao has forged with the Chiongbians, a family that has kept a tight grip on Sarangani politics. It has obscured Pacquiao’s victory over another Chiongbian, Roy, in the 2010 congressional race.

[PHOTO -Children take shelter from the drizzle as Sarangani Vice Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon celebrates with villagers at Sapu Padidu in Malapatan Tuesday. Romina Rabina]

Roy, the brother of then outgoing Rep. Erwin Chiongbian, questioned Pacquiao’s residency but failed to have him disqualified. Pacquiao claimed he had lived in Sarangani before his foray into politics.

Pacquiao then took pride in defeating a “billionaire” and part of a political dynasty. His supporters credited the boxer’s “charisma and propoor” outlook for his victory.

In 2007, however, Pacquiao lost to former Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio in the mayoral race in General Santos City, despite reportedly spending about P120 million in the election campaign.

In next year’s mayoral battle, the boxer has tapped Councilor Ronnel Rivera, a son of a fishing magnate, against Custodio.

Jinkee filed her certificate of candidacy for vice governor in Alabel town on Tuesday, according to Alvin Quiñanola, the province’s election officer.

Another member of the Pacquiao family, Lorelie, is also into politics, having won as chair of Barangay Labangal here in the 2010 barangay elections. Lorelie is the wife of Pacquiao’s brother, Bobby. With a report from Aquiles Zonio, Inquirer Mindanao


Pacquiao: No obstacles to reelection bid by Ayee Macaraig Posted on 09/24/2012 5:47 PM | Updated 09/24/2012 10:16 PM


In an interview on the sidelines of a meeting of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), Pacquiao said his 2013 reelection bid is so far, so good.

“Okay na sa ngayon, wala naman tayong nakikitang problema at wala pa tayong nakikita kung sino ang kalaban. Okay naman,” said Pacquiao on Monday, September 24. (It’s okay, we don’t see any problems so far and we don’t know who will be our opponent. It’s okay.)

During the meeting at the office of Vice President Jejomar Binay, Pacquiao brought with him Sarangani Vice Gov Steve Chiongbian Solon and 4 mayors from Mindanao.

Pacquiao initially planned to run for Sarangani governor in 2013 but he decided to support Chiongbian’s gubernatorial bid instead.

“Pagbigyan naman natin ang iba na mag-gobernador like Steve Chiongbian Solon, siya ang nilagay ko. Ang naisip ko, doon pa rin sa posisyon ko kasi 1st term ko pa lang,” Pacquiao said. (Let’s give others a chance to be governor like Steve Chiongbian. He is the one I chose. I thought of running for reelection because this is still my first term.)

Pacquiao is a new member of Binay’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Laban (PDP-Laban), a coalition partner of UNA. He switched from the Nacionalista Party of Senator Manny Villar in April.

Pacquiao lost an earlier political battle in 2007: the congressional race in South Cotabato. Former Rep Darlene Antonino-Custodio then beat Pacquiao.

The boxing champion pledged support for UNA in 2013. “United kami dito, lahat nagkakaisa kami kaya napakasarap sa UNA.” (We are united here that’s why it’s good to be a part of UNA.)

When Pacquiao arrived at the meeting, Estrada joked that he would be UNA’s financier.

The athlete later told reporters, “Mas mayaman pa sa akin iyon.” (President Estrada is richer than I am). – Rappler.com

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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