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Working Outline

1.0 Introduction
1.1 Background Information
1.2 Thesis Statement: Political dynasties should be banned because political and
personal interests are promoted.
2.0 Basic Arguments
2.1 Political dynasties promote nepotism, favoritism and corruption.
2.1.1 Political clans are motivated by the preservation of wealth rather
than the implementation of basic political ideologies.
2.1.2 Officials do not control only political power within themselves; they
cultivate nepotism by appointing relatives.
2.2 Formation of political kingdoms inhibits democracy in the country.
2.2.1 Elections have become mere formalities rather that idle legal
2.2.2 Dynasties are reflections of the prevailing socio-economic
inequalities in the nation.
2.3 The existence of political clans prohibits economically- disadvantaged but
efficient candidates.
2.3.1 Basis for qualifications of public officials are distorted.
2.3.2 People come to accept the existing succession of political clans as
a tradition.
3.0 Counter Arguments
3.1 Dynasties make up an effective collaboration promoting good governance.
3.2 There is an increased devolution of power over the localities which empower
3.3 Refutation
4.0 Conclusion
Christine Meredith E. Sarmiento December 10, 2009

Argumentative Essay
Political Affiliations Uncovered

The terrifying massacre of civilians in Maguindanao was a grim eye-

opener of the influence of political dynasties in the country and the danger it imposes on

the people. According to a recent study by the Philippine Center for Investigative

Journalism, the emergence of political dynasties started when the Americans introduced

electoral politics in the 20th century. The standards boxed the opportunities to the rich

and the landed, who then monopolized public office. The image of this government

system was passed through the years, validating the Marcos regime, which is the

resilience of political kingdoms in the provinces. At present, the cultural importance of

kinship affiliation explains the power and dominance of political affiliations (Bonoan,

2009). With this, political dynasties should be banned because political and personal

interests are promoted.

In our political setting, political alliances are defined along familial lines not

by political parties with strong political ideologies and beliefs (Jayme, 2001). Most of the

clans confine themselves on political structures for the essence of social survival, taking

advantage of the weak nation. Emphasis is put on preserving family wealth rather than

forming productive activities that will serve the country better. Immaturity of this political

system leads to nonsense acts of protection of the clan’s interests by legislating for their

own means. When dark-tinted SUVs rule the highways, luxury items are purchased and

dozens of bodyguards sprout, we see the seeds of corruption. (Philippine Daily Inquirer,

November 2009).
Officials held in public office do not have contentment with themselves.

They do not control only political power within themselves, but they also cultivate

nepotism by appointing their relatives. The kinship ties built by powerful families result

to favoritism norms in the government, poisoning almost every mind in it. It has crept

into their heads, distorting the rationality and dignity over their vocation. Another

disrupted underlying factor is the individuality concern of the officials. Effective

economic decision-making is tampered due to the surfacing of personal interests.

In the course of the rising and expanding political kingdoms ruling over the

country, it has become hard to tell where democracy is to be found. With rules distorted

and morality questioned, people can never tell if they deserve more than what they are

getting from the government. Political dynasties inhibit democracy, further adding

instability and weakness of political institutions that are supposed to be working on their

sense of rationality and individualism for the country (Jayme, 2001). A reflection of this

phenomenon is the present day elections. Plebiscites are viewed as mere formalities

rather than idle legal processes. Filipinos started accepting the fact that family

succession in political institutions may be beneficial. They, too, are poisoned by this

thought. The present set up of our government is actually a monarchy, not a democratic

one. Bureaucrats held in public office are chosen through the value of inheritance, not

according to their skills. Considering this, voters seem to forget the essence of their

right to vo te. People should break apart from what they see is tradition. They have the

right to choose who they think is efficient and capable of a position. People should be

able to rationalize their minds and stop tolerating the overwhelming political dynasties.
With the plight of the horrifying Maguindanao massacre, people must take

into account a brutal reality check – how deadly Philippine democracy is. Dr.

Encarnacion Teresa Tadem, director of the Third World Studies Center of the University

of the Philippines, said that the continued flourishing of political dynasties is a reflection

of the socio-economic inequalities in the country. According to Conde (2009), political

clans are inherently wrong because they give a head start in politics of the same family.

With this simple launch, opportunities for other candidates are softly burned down.

Families rising into power shoot prospective rivals from coming into their state. During

the Marcos regime, Ferdinand Marcos stressed the abolition of political dynasties all

over the Philippines. However, he must have driven away growing political dynasties.

But then right after, he started establishing his own. He appointed relatives all over the

fingers of his hands. Relatively, economically disadvantaged contenders are deprived of

their freedom of holding public office. Once they try to peep in to the big world, they are

kicked out in an instance by the prevailing political kingdoms.

With the rise of different socio economic forces pulling Filipinos side by

side, even the essence of choosing rightful political representatives are unconsidered.

At present times, the basis for qualifications of candidates does not depend on his

competence; it all depends on his seated master. Indeed, democratic rules no longer

apply in the selection of candidates for public office. Presence of powerful political

kingdoms remains to be the primordial obstacle to deserving but economically

disadvantaged candidates from running or winning the elections. If one wants to have

an iron grip in politics, he must have somebody powerful enough, a member of a

dynasty, to pull him up. In short, running for public office is a matter of grasping the truth
about inequalityof opportunities with the prevailing power of the ruling elite. Many

qualified Filipinos can improve public service but they are barred by these dynasties.

It is evident that the formation of political dynasties inflicts detrimental

effects on most Filipinos. However, the worst part is people come to accept the existing

succession of political clans as a tradition. Embedded in their heads are the thoughts

that there is nothing wrong with a family laying down its hand all over the country. It was

considered as a tradition because of inaction. People barely oppose to what these

political dynasties impose in their places. The system is a vicious cycle preventing the

expansion of aspirants and candidates for representation. As a result, this political

system is dominated by fraud, corruption and violence. (The New York Times, 2007).

Although there is a widespread belief that political dynasties can never be

terminated for injecting damage, there are certain points that serve as signs for positive

change. Political kingdoms have earned its connotation as influential families

dominating power and wealth to control the aspects of the nation. However, if dynasties

are closely examined, it will turn out that not all yield negative outputs. Several young

politicians from dynasties have broken away with their old ways of ruling specific areas.

They must have been unfairly disqualified from public service. They had proven their

capacity to govern responsibly. One example is Sergio Osmeña Jr., a worthy public

official, who might have been inequitably barred for being the son of his illustrious

father. With this, should Manuel Roxas be excluded also for being the son of Gerardo

Roxas, the son of a former president? The credentials of this family are unquestionable

(Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2007).

Another significant change that is attributed to the rise of political

dynasties is the increased devolution of power over the localities. Kinship affiliation does

not concentrate on urban areas only; they are creeping out to the provinces. In recent

years, the provinces’ cities and towns have grown richer (New York Times, 2007).

Because of local empowerment, good dynasties are becoming more responsive to the

call of good governance. Similarly, as clans expand all over the country, competition

rises among them. This opposition is viewed as a positive factor for change. Dynasties

race out with other dynasties which might eventually result to better public service if

they do the competition the clean way. Before, Manila, being the center of trade and

industry was outshining the other spots in the country. But now, under the ambitious

plans of the government dynasties other places are gradually revealing their own worth.

On the contrary, we cannot have the assurance that all dynasties bear

good intention and good heirs. Taking a risk with these unscrupulous dynasties will put

us to great danger, even more than the Maguindanao massacre. In addition, some

dynasties might really be attributed for local empowerment, but as we know, power

comes with great responsibility. Empowerment of localities spoils with the fact that local

politicians have more to gain personally from public office, fueling the cycle of violence

(New York Times,2007).

At this juncture, Filipinos should realize how vital their share is in running

this country. Political dynasties are slowly sweeping our ways to efficiency, thus, pulling

us down towards the marginalized section of society. Yes we have an anti-dynasty

proviso\ion written in the 1987 constitution, but it is useless unless a legislation to

impose it is passed by the Congress. Who should people hope for to make this happen?
No way the Congress is doing it, the reason is obvious; Congress is the principal haven

of political dynasties and traditional politicians. It is time to have serious thoughts be

devoted to this. We have to make a stand if we want this nation to survive. If not, the

blood will be right on our hands. The Congress cannot stop it but voters can… and

should. “Indeed, with one powerful stroke of the pen in our ballots, we can break the

chains of political dynasties or further tighten the cuffs of corruption that tends to sap out

our flesh” (Bonoan, 2009).