PNoy on BBC: ‘Hereditary power’ has pros, cons
'I draw the line where there is a conscious attempt to have a monopoly of economic power'

'HEREDITARY POWER.' President Benigno Aquino III explains Philippine political dynasties in an interview on BBC. Screen grab from BBC

MANILA, Philippines – Speaking to a global audience, President Benigno Aquino III explained the two sides of political dynasties in the Philippines in an interview aired on BBC as part of his London trip Wednesday evening, June 6.

“Should Southeast Asia be aiming for something that is more about a meritocracy than whom you are a son of?” asked the BBC interviewer, referring to so-called “hereditary power.”

Aquino, heir of two Philippine political leaders, said families in politics usually tend to do their best to protect their families’ reputations.

“I think a lot of families, regardless if you’re from the Philippines or from anywhere in the world, would like to preserve their good name,” Aquino said.

The President, however, said political families should also have limitations. “I draw the line where there is a conscious attempt to have a monopoly of economic power… when the playing field is not leveled,” Aquino said.

The President said that as for him, it was not only his name but also his training and experiences that “shaped” him into who he is today.

Party-list system

Nevertheless, the President said the 1986 People Power Revolution drastically changed politics in the Philippines, citing the country’s party-list system. “We have a very vibrant party list system…. A lot of them are from marginalized sector,” he said.

In the BBC interview, Aquino also mentioned the Philippines’ Scarborough Shoal dispute with China, saying the country is “heartened” by the words of its strategic partner, the United States.

He also tackled the Philippines’ economic growth, and described it as an improvement from the time of his predecessor, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In the United Kingdom, Aquino met with British Prime Minister David Cameron, among other things, to strengthen cooperation between the two countries. –

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