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Manila Bulletin, January 26, 2007 | Go to article overview

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Byline: Floro M. Mercene

OUR leaders continue to insult our intelligence by foisting their relatives to become part of the ruling establishment.

The latest flap was committed by the opposition which is recruiting has-beens and nobrainers to form its senatorial ticket, much to the dismay of its more discerning members.

***

Erap is setting the most ignominous example. His wife Loi and son Jinggoy are already in the Senate and he wants one more son, JV, to sit in that chamber.

What has Mayor JV Ejercito accomplished to deserve promotion to the Senate?

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My friend Nene Pimentel is fielding his son Koko as a senatorial candidate. Koko was beaten twice for mayor of Cagayan de Oro City and now they want to make him a senator.

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And then there are the Cayetanos, Pia and Alan Peter. Alan, a congressman, wants to join his sister in the upper chamber. They want to follow the footsteps of their late father, Rene Cayetano.

***

It's not only the opposition that is guilty of foisting their relatives on us. In the administration ranks, we have Senator Ralph Recto who wants his wife Vilma Santos, mayor of Lipa City, to join him in the Senate.

***

Congress is already packed with relatives and kinds of incumbents, the most glaring example being the President herself who has a son as congressman from Pampanga and a brotherin-law as congressman from Negros.

***

Rep. Cynthia Villar of Paranaque is the wife of Senate President Manny Villar. Rep. Noynoy Aquino of Tarlac is the nephew of Rep. Agapito Aquino of Makati and former Senator Tessie A. Oreta.

I find Speaker Joe de Venecia more admirable because no matter the temptation, he has not allowed any of his relatives to get an elective post through his influence.

***

Will the dynasties disappear if we switch to a parliamentary system?

They are here to stay because the people themselves have been tolerating it. …

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