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AN EXCEPTION TO THE RULE

By: Glenda Marie H. Asinas

is often a family affair. For generations, a few famous and wealthy families have dominated politics in the country as there are no board exams for politicians; all it takes is a surname to qualify. You see, POLITICAL DYNASTIES bind and
continue to bind politics in the country. Let s face it, they will always be with us. And it's not just us Every country must have their own share of political dynasties. But taking a closer look at the picture, we d see that the problem is not political dynasties per se but the long list of incompetent officials elected to public positions. As far as I m concerned,

In the Philippines, politics

the problem is competency and not

political dynasty in itself.

If all the elected family members in a particular clan are all competent

in the position they vied for, then that should no longer be a bone of contention. Sad thing is, most of these political dynasties have used their positions to protect family interests and perpetuate themselves in power. But these political dynasties don't always have it their way. Dynasties are not unbeatable. Dynasties also suffer defeat. As to every rule, there are always

exceptions.

Take for instance the Remulla Clan of the Partido Magdalo in Cavite. Cavite has undergone a rapid economic transformation over the years. Credits to Johnny Remulla who served as the catalyst for Cavite s Second Revolution. Johnny Remulla s sons, Crispin and Gilbert, are quite competent as legislators in Congress. They have created and continue to create good laws - a skill they have acquired through years and decades of being in office. Their many years in office have served as a training ground which have honed their skills in leadership and lawmaking. Whether we admit it or not, those politicians who belong to political dynasties have a whole lot of experience. And

experience, I can say, is

worth as much as power. Everyone is free to run for a public position if he wishes to do so. Yet
not everyone is educationally capable to handle the intricacies of nation-building, bill-writing, dealing with international leaders, etc. As sad as it is, the members of political dynasties are armed with the knowledge to face national problems head on. (I m not saying that those who's not knowledgeable in the nitty-gritty of politics cannot run. Of course they can. All I m saying is, being knowledgeable gives a candidate an edge, an advantage that is to say.) Moreover, the Remulla clan had broken with the old ways of running their areas and had shown a capacity to govern responsibly. The implementation of projects under the terms of the Remulla dynasty is continuous hence it is given full attention. Let s put it this way, families take care of a certain area. Political families "invest their time in handling" the local affairs of their home province, aimed in "protecting" their turf. They say political dynasties are those families who belong to the country s economic elite, some of them acting as rule makers or patrons of politicians who conspire together to amass greater economic power. But the Remulla clan are not the elites to beat in Cavite. Matter of fact, their political foes are those who belong to the economic elite in their locality. Golds were promised by their rivals just to trounce the Remullas, particularly Gilbert who was vocal against the past administration during the House investigation on the "Hello Garci" controversy. The Remullas are already tested public servants.

Career runs in the blood.

Although competency does not, they make it seem like it does.

Some may deem it

wrong to quench the urge to protect one s genes, make siblings survive and achieve power. But on the upside, it can encourage them to serve better and protect their names and lineage. Having a popular last name therefore, does not necessarily mean doom for the Filipino people.

No matter how many members of the family run, if people will be SMART enough to vote. Then we have hope. I wrote this article not to justify political dynasties but to give the other side of the coin. Not all political dynasties are bad. If it is unethical to benefit from public office by
virtue of blood ties, it s equally unethical to deprive someone of its benefits on the mere basis of relationship and blood ties. Personally, I do not despise 'Political dynasties'.

As long as good

leaders come out, why not? And besides, they are still bound by 'democratic' constitution. Coming from the words of Aristotle, as long as aristocracy means 'the rule of the best' then let it be.
At the end of the day, it is still us voters who will make the choice.

Responsible voting is

still the best antidote.

We are in a democratic country and the people decide whether political

dynasties remain or not. We re lucky if the heir is good. And the Caviteos must be very lucky to have the Remulla Clan as one of the very few exceptions to the cruel rule of political dynasties. :)