MANILA, Philipines – Criticizing political dynasties, a Liberal Party (LP) stalwart on Monday, August 3, singled out Senator Nancy Binay as supposedly having been elected only because she is Vice President Jejomar Binay's daughter.
Caloocan Representative Edgar Erice, who chairs the LP's political and electoral affairs committee, slammed Senator Binay's reported lack of experience when she ran under her father's party, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
"Bago siya manomina ng UNA, wala siya ni isang araw na eksperyensya sa gobyerno, maliban sa pagbe-bake ng cake. Ngunit dahil siya ay anak ng Bise Presidente ng bansa at presidente ng partidong UNA, siya ay nanomina at nanalong senador," Erice said in a forum organized by Rappler and the Building an Inclusive Democracy (BID) consortium.
(Before she was nominated by UNA, she didn't have a single day of experience in government, except for baking cakes. But because she is the daughter of the Vice President of the country and the president of UNA, she was nominated and won as senator.)
"Paano mo mabibigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga pangkaraniwang taong mas kalipikado, sanay mamuno, kung ang mga ilalagay sa puwesto ay ang mga kamag-anak? Basehan ng paglalagay sa puwesto ay ang apelyido at kasikatan ng apelyido," Erice said.
(How can you give a chance to more qualified, more experienced persons, if you will only put relatives in office? The basis for putting them in power is their surname as well as the popularity of their surname.)
Rappler is still trying to reach Senator Binay as of posting time.
Before she became senator, Senator Binay was never elected or appointed to any position in government. She was, however, a personal assistant to Vice President Binay and her mother, former Makati mayor Elenita Binay, from 1998 until she ran for senator. (READ: Nancy Binay: The accidental candidate)
Later, as a senator, Binay was implicated in the long-running rumor about the supposedly overpriced cakes given to Makati's senior citizens. (READ: Ex-Binay aide: VP, Nancy earned from building, cakes)
"Alam ng lahat ng taga-Makati na si Senator Nancy Binay ang gumagawa ng cake noong ‘di pa siya senador," former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado earlier said. (Everyone in Makati knows Senator Nancy Binay made the cakes when she was not yet senator.)
Dynasties 'promote abuse of power'
Erice is a proponent of the anti-dynasty bill.
He discussed political dynasties on Monday as part of "Aquino's Last Mile," the second forum in "The Leader I Want" series organized by Rappler and the BID consortium.
The BID consortium includes the College of Liberal Arts of the De La Salle University, the Ateneo School of Government, the Asian Institute of Management, the RSN Policy Center for Competitiveness, and the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance.
In his talk on Monday, Erice named other political dynasties.
Aside from the Binays, he also cited the Villafuerte family of Camarines Sur. In this family, he recalled, "the father, the son, and the grandson publicly lambasted each other just to win the sympathy of their constituents." (READ: In Camarines Sur, it's the Villafuertes' show)
Erice pointed out that political dynasties weaken political parties. These families also "hinder economic progress by aggravating inequality."
"Political dynasties promote abuse of power, corruption, and political violence," Erice said.
He added: "There's a saying that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Once these political dynasties are able to monopolize power, they start to act as if the are above the law and they are entitled to do whatever they want, whenever they want." – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.