Alan Cayetano hits back at critics: Better a ‘serving’ political dynasty than crooks

Aika Rey
Alan Cayetano hits back at critics: Better a ‘serving’ political dynasty than crooks
Former foreign secretary Alan Cayetano, who is seeking a congressional seat along with wife Lani, says the Cayetanos do not want Taguig City to fall into the wrong hands

MANILA, Philippines – Rival camps have campaigned against the election of the Cayetanos in Taguig City by branding them as members of a “political dynasty,” but for former foreign secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, the supposed negative connotation of the term carries a positive brand in his city.

Cayetano, who is running for Taguig City-Pateros 1st District congressman, made the statement in a media interview on the sidelines of the Team Lino Cayetano proclamation rally in Taguig on Friday, March 29. He was asked about the rival camps’ campaign against the election of the Cayetanos in Taguig by calling them a “political dynasty.”

Cayetano said it was better to be called a “political dynasty” in Taguig, than allow the city to “fall” for politicians linked to drugs or corruption.

“So mas gusto na naming tawagin kaming dynasty, pero maganda paglilingkod. Kaso sasabihin mo hindi dynasty, panalo kalaban. Bumalik ang drugs at corruption sa aming siyudad,” he said.

(We’d rather be called a dynasty, but one that delivers good public service. But if you don’t want a dynasty, then the enemy will win. Drugs and corruption will come back to our city.)

Cayetano’s wife, third-termer Mayor Lani Cayetano, is running for Taguig-Pateros 2nd District representative. 

His brother, Lino, is running for mayor.  Lino was 2nd District representative from 2013 to 2016.

Taguig-Pateros 1st District Congressman Arnel Cerafica is running against Lino in the mayoral race.

‘No political dynasties in PH’

During the media interview, Cayetano also insisted that his clan “cannot be considered a political dynasty” since “there are no polical dynasties” in a democracy like the Philippines.

“Wala namang dynasty sa Pilipinas kasi we have free and open elections. Ang concept kasi ng dynasty or parang pagiging aristocrat is pwede kang pumalit sa iyong ama kasi nga ‘yun ang apelyido mo or anak ka. Sa Pilipinas, you have to earn it,” Cayetano said.

(There are no dynasties in the Philippines because we have free and open elections. The concept of a dynasty or being an aristocrat is you can replace your father because you have the same surname or because you are his child. In the Philippines, you have to earn it.)

“Basta ang tao nakakapili nang maluwag sa sarili nila, ibig sabihin, walang pilitan. Walang guns, goons, and gold. It’s [a] democracy (As long as the people were able to freely make the choice themselves, that means that they were not forced. There were no guns, goons, and gold. It’s a democracy),” he added.

A 2013 study of the Ateneo School of Government said political dynasties exist in a situation where an incumbent elected official “has relatives in elected offices in the past or the present government.”

The study also said that those part of political dynasties occupy positions “either sequentially in the same political jurisdiction or simultaneously across different positions.”

Cayetano’s father, the late senator Renato Cayetano, started the family’s foray into politics. His career in the legislative began when he was elected as assemblyman for Pateros, Taguig, and Muntinlupa in 1984. He was elected senator in 1998, and died in 2003.

His eldest son, Alan, started as Taguig councilor from 1992 to 1995, then became vice mayor from 1995 to 1998, and Taguig-Pateros 1st District congressman from 1998 to 2007. He became a senator in 2007.

Taguig-Pateros 2nd District Representative Pia Cayetano, Alan’s sister, is seeking a return to the Senate, where she served from 2004 to 2016. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.


Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at