(An anti-dynasty stand. Click here for the pro.)
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen! The friend of a friend has a business he inherited from his father who inherited it from the latter’s father who inherited the same business fromt he friend’s great grandfather.
Now, I have a question for you: are government officials supposed to treat their position as a business like that of my friend’s friend’s? Can a politician just hand his position down to the next of his generation?
Obviously, your answer to the first question is “no”. Government officials are in position to serve and only to serve. They are not to earn from whatever transactions they facilitate. They are not to get rich because, as we said, government position is not a business. This is the theory.
As to the second question, the answer is still the same “no”. A politician can not hand his position down to the next of his generation. It is the voter that dictates whether the next of the politician’s generation will have the job or not.
That the candidate wins however is another story. Of course, his winning will constitute what is call “politycal dynasty”. (Dynasty, by the way means, a line of rulers of the same family. So the word “political” in the phrase “political dynasty” is actually a superfluity. That is according to the New Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus). But what about dynasty according to the law?
Sad to say, the law does not have a definition. In fact, there is even no law about dynasty. What is written in the constitution actually is an order for Congress to enact a law tha defines and prohibits dynasty.
Of course, I am not in favor of dynasty. To rephrase the Constitutional Commissioner who explained the rationale for the existence of the provision against dynasty in the Constitution, dynasty narrows the opportunities of competent, young and promising poor candidates to occupy important positions in the government.
Without the law that prohibits dynasty, there will be no end to the rule of people form the same families who have most of the money but do not necessarily have what it takes to make this country great.
But since Congress in the home of dynasties, to borrow Fr. Joaquin Bernas’ words, the realization that the provision on dynasties would widen access to political opportunities, will probably be exhaustingly long in coming. Fr. Bernas, by the way, is one of the country’s most respected constitutionalists.
The situation is actually on of betrayal. We elect people to represent us. Obviously, however, when they are elected, they begin to represent themselves and their interest. Our status as their master is demoted to a mere fan to be smiled at and to be thrilled by promises.
Then a son or daughter come up and say, “father, I would like to be a mayor/congressman/senator like you.”
“Ok, anak,” father mayor/congressman/senator replies. “I’ll take care of it. In the mean time, go and announce to this and that barangay that we are constructing waiting shed and basketball courts; and do not allow them to forget about me, about us. Never forget to pain on those structures in bold and large letters they were constructed out of love by your father to his constituents. That way, when it is your time to replace me, they will have an easy time remembering your name, our name.”
Talk about undue advantage. Talk about the “narrowing of opportunities of competent, young, promising, poor candidates to occupy important positions in government”. They who have everything but the means to make this country great.
Talk about betrayal.
So, please, when I am back here again on stage, I hope I would not be asked again about my stand on the menace to our society called dynasty.
I am not and I will not be in favor of it.
To Oration Pieces page