Iloilo media divided over political dynasty issue

November 10, 2012 12:23 am 

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 9 – The Iloilo media, who have been working closely with the political leaders here because of the nature of their job, are divided with regard to the issue on political dynasties.

There are some who really push for the passage of the anti-political dynasty bill that had long been pending in the House.

But there are also those who say it is alright and even beneficial when political leaders come from only one family for there is concentration of power, government resources and smooth project implementations.

Elena Pabiona of Radyo ng Bayan-DYLL and president of the Iloilo Capitol Press Corps said there should really be a law that regulates political dynasty because although the family members are all capable of delivering public service but then it is also “suffocating”.

“It’s suffocating to see those people from one family occupying all electoral seats,” Pabiona contended.

Nestor Burgos, correspondent of the Philippine Daily Inquirer for Western Visayas, said political dynasty is already a long overdue issue and should have to be dismantled.

He added, “In many ways, political dynasty is disadvantageous for it limit the opportunity of other people and beholden the public to only one family.”

Political dynasty also perpetuates same kind of governance because political leaders come from only one family, Burgos contended.

Likewise, Arcenio “Kamlon” Ang, a blocktimer of the DYOK-Aksyon Radyo, said political dynasty should have to be eradicated to avoid graft and corruption in the government.

He further said that those other young, sincere, capable individuals who even though have no money should have to be voted and given chance to lead.

“I fear that one day there would be no more election but only bidding to happen,” Ang contended. He said that what happens in Iloilo politics and in other parts of the country now is that those coming from one family because of their logistical back up are the ones who run for election and get elected.

Meanwhile, Erly Garcia, former editor of The News Today but now works at the Iloilo Community Affairs and Public Information Office, said he is not totally against political dynasty because there are indeed family members who want to do public service and have also the capability.

“It’s the nature of Philippine politics now that whoever comes from rich and influential families get elected for they are the ones who have the resources and could sustain their campaigns,” Garcia contended.

He said that it depends now on the people to choose very well whom they would vote and like to lead them.

“I don’t see the need to pass anti-political dynasty bill,” Garcia said.

Montesa Caoyonan of The News Today said it has been the practice of Ilonggos that even if their political candidates only belong to the same family they still vote for them for the reason that they are good and could deliver the services.

She said that coming from one family would ensure smooth flow of project implementation because they have set their mind into one agenda and are not opposing each other.

“It’s unfortunate for those constituents however who have leaders who are greedy (for) power,” Caoyonan contended.

The Manila Bulletin correspondent and Daily Headlines writer and photojournalist Tara Yap said political dynasty is not only confined in the Philippines but also in other countries like the United States and those in Europe.

“It is a reality and practiced in different countries,” Yap contended.

Some of the political dynasties existing in Iloilo province are the Garins in the first district.

Former Rep. Oscar Garin, Sr. has been into congress for several terms already until he became administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority.

Recently, he applied for registration in the town of San Joaquin In Iloilo province where his wife is a graduating mayor.

Media spectators believe that he will make a last minute substitution for Liberal Party mayoralty candidate Eduardo S. Servidad, who is an incumbent vice mayor, although he denied this.

His son Oscar “Richard” Garin, Jr., currently on his second term as vice governor of Iloilo province, is running for congressman in the first district to replace his outgoing wife Cong. Janette L. Garin.

Atty. Sharon Garin, the daughter of Cong. Oscar Garin, is running for reelection as OWA-AAMBIS partylist representative.

Her youngest sister Christine is slugging for her third term as mayor of Guimbal in the first district under the LP.

The Tupas family in the fifth district is another big political dynasty.

Iloilo former congressman and governor Niel Tupas, Sr. is running for congressman in the fourth district under the LP. His son Cong. Niel Tupas, Jr. is a reelectionist for the fifth district.

Another son Raul C. Tupas, who is former mayor of Barotac Viejo, is running for vice governor in tandem with LP gubernatorial candidate reelectionist Gov. Arthur Defensor, Sr.

Other Tupas family members are reelectionist board member Nielo C. Tupas of the fifth district and his youngest brother Iloilo city reelectionist councilor Nielex C. Tupas.

Gov. Defensor, Sr., who authored the anti-political dynasty bill while he was still congressman, has his own son Rep. Arthur Defensor, Jr. running for reelection this coming May 2013.

United Nationalist Alliance Iloilo gubernatorial candidate Dr. Ferjenel Biron, fourth district incumbent congressman, has his own family members running.

Hernan Biron, Jr., who is incumbent board member, is running for congressman to replace his older brother.

Their father Hernan Biron, Sr. is a reelectionist for mayor of Barotac Nuevo. They also fuel the Abyan Ilonggo partylist.

In the fifth district of Iloilo province, there is also the Salcedo political dynasty. Neptali P. Salcedo is running for mayoralty reelection with his son Neptali C. Salcedo, Jr., who is also now vice mayor, in tandem. Another son Jesus Salcedo is running for provincial board in the fifth district under UNA.

Jeneda Salcedo Orendain, a daughter, is currently the president of the Liga ng mga Barangay of Iloilo province.(PNA)

HBC/AJP/VLO

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