Upon ascension to power by FRM (Bongbong Marcos), a new breed of shocking events shook the nation. Dynasties killing each other. It all began in Maguindanao when a germinating dynasty wanted to dislodge a reigning dynasty. The latter was touted to build a caja de hierro as big as a 2-storey house ensconced in a sprawling mansion in Davao City. Why are they killing each other? We shall see later.
New species of dynasties sprouted when the 1987 Constitution took effect. Many of the Cory Charter provisions were touted as the foolproof playbook towards economic progress and political maturity. The Filipinos, having undergone the pain of a revolution driving away a well-entrenched Marcos dynasty, swallowed new sets of political recipes. It all started with the Aquinos, the Ramoses, the unwittingly latent Dutertes, and the Binays. We all know where they all sprung: their exclusive LGUs. The old Congress referred to its members as the “gentlemen/women of Misamis” ad infinitum. The provenance of a politician is a source of pride and an award bestowed by these “natives of” adorns the recipient’s walls of his home or office.
Local autonomy and Fiscal independence heralded the resurgence of LGUs.
As countervailing regulations, term limits and anti-dynasty caveats were enshrined in the 1987 Constitution. Cory Aquino slept on her laurels. She forgot to certify Anti-Dynasty Bill as urgent. In the meanwhile, dynasties sprung unabated. With Fiscal autonomy an automatic luxury, local kingpins asked for more: Mandanas/Garcia doctrine tells the President “our IRAs are not fully paid and you owe us more!”
We saw the Ampatuans rise to power fueled by the intel fund of the President (courtesy of the now Kingmaker, GMA) . The Ampatuans, capturing practically all local positions in Maguindanao, built their own steel vaults piling up in cash all IRAs and 20% development funds. With billions of local funds at their disposal, they thought the gods made them invincible. They uprooted the traditional jueteng kingpins and engaged in bookies and online sabong. Drug distribution is not far behind. The Teveses of Negros Oriental ruled the roost in that billion peso department. As a salve to their conscience, the brag that they don’t dip their fingers in public works.
One October day in 2009, a dynasty armed with a backhoe massacred practically all members of a rival dynasty who collected the gumption to slug it out against the Ampatuans in May 2010 elections.
In a foreboding Ides of March of 2023, a Teves gofer organized an army, knocked at the door of the Degamos, and strafed the unwitting governor and his henchmen.
It’s not RIDO as mistakenly theorized. It’s the lack of anti-dynasty law.
Forward to 2022-2023 where the Marcoses now reign supreme, elected local officials are assassinated one after the other and dozens civilians as collaterals.
“As of March 4, Rappler tallied two incumbent government officials killed under the Marcos administration – one vice mayor and one governor. Five former officials have been killed, too – four former mayors and one former vice mayor.
“There were also at least two attempts on the lives of other incumbent officials, including Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. and Mayor Ohto Montawal of Datu Montawal, Maguindanao, both in February”
In an editorial, the Inquirer details the killing rampage among the local leaders soon after Marcos Jr was sworn into office: “Barely a month since President Marcos Jr. assumed office last year, the series of violent killings of local officials began, with former Dolores, Quezon mayor Danilo Amat, and Lamitan City, Basilan mayor Rose Furigay shot dead in July 2022. Since then, more local officials have fallen, seven as of latest count. They include former Lobo, Batangas vice mayor Romeo Sulit in August 2022; former Dipaculao, Aurora vice mayor Narciso Amansec in October 2022; former Calbiga, Samar vice mayor Miguel Abaigar Jr. also in October; Aparri, Cagayan Vice Mayor Rommel Alameda in February 2023, and Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo on March 4.
“Assassination attempts were also made on two incumbent officials, Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr. and Mayor Ohto Montawal of Datu Montawal town, Maguindanao del Sur province, both in February” [https://opinion.inquirer.net/?p=161593#ixzz7vVCm8EMY]
Why the killings? The culprit is the absence of Anti-Dynasty Law. This law is supposed to regulate behavior: Lust for Power. And perpetual access to public funds gorging their jobless constituents.
When two families vie for government funds and untrammeled autonomy, the recipe for assassinations by one against the other is there for the cooking.
A public office is now a lucrative investment. Only the gambling lords, drug lords and corrupt government officials have the opportunity to enter politics given the mind set that only those who throw money in the political arena get noticed by famished electorate.
And they charge exorbitant FRANCHISE FEE!
images credit: https://opinionmashup.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/editorial-curbing-dynasties/