POLITICAL DYNASTY. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte raises the hands of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan senatorial aspirants during the campaign rally of PDP Laban at the BECES Grounds in Buenavista, Agusan del Norte on Tuesday (April 12, 2022). Duterte said the dominance of political dynasty would continue because it is still being backed by no less than the Filipino people. (Presidential photo by Karl Alonzo)

MANILA – The dominance of the political dynasty would continue because it is still being backed by no less than the Filipino people, President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday.

In a speech delivered in Buenavista, Agusan del Norte, Duterte said influential political clans are holding several positions in government because Philippine “leaders” have asked for it.

Duterte cited the case of the Aquino political dynasty which produced two presidents -- the late president Corazon “Cory” Aquino (1986-1992) and her son Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III (2010-2016).

“Ang mga tawo man guy muingon kagaya ng mga Aquino (But it’s the people who clamor for it just like with the Aquinos),” he said during the campaign sortie of his ruling party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

Duterte, whose three children are also elected to public office, said he felt “embarrassed” that his family is one of those political dynasties that continues to dominate the Philippine elections.

Vice presidential aspirant and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte, and Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte followed their father’s political footsteps.

Duterte said he and his children had no choice but to heed the leaders’ calls for them to run for public office.

“Kani bang political dynasty, ako gusto kong muatras, ihatag pud nako’g — galing kadtong pagkahawa na nako pagka Mayor, pag-election, giingnan nako mangita ta’g lain kay kaning akong anak nga babae medyo blowing hot and cold ba. Usahay, maybe to please me, ‘O sige pa, tan-awon ta lang. Let’s see what develops (In the matter of political dynasty, I am not in favor of it and give others the opportunity. But when I stepped down as Mayor, I told them to look for somebody else because my daughter’s temper, it’s somehow blowing hot and cold. Sometimes, maybe to please me, “Okay pa, let’s see. Let’s see what develops),’” Duterte said.

“Ingnon nagbalik-balik mi, dili namo na gusto, nakakahiya nga eh. Ang problema ang mga lider man maoy di gusto. Ang mga barangay captain muadto, ‘Mayor, ang imong anak.’ ‘Ayaw lang na kay kana sila may apan.’ So mapugos ka gyud (They say we keep coming back. We don’t want to because it’s embarrassing. But the problem is that’s what the leaders want. The barangay captain would approach us, saying, ‘Mayor, we choose your children.’ ‘No, not them because they, too, have their faults.’ So you are left with no choice),” he added.

In November last year, Duterte said the prevalence of political dynasty is “not bad,” except if the influential families are involved in unlawful activities such as the illegal drug trade.

The 17th Congress has rejected the proposal of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Federalism and Constitutional Reforms on the 1987 Constitution to include the ban on political dynasties in the proposed revisions to the 1987 Constitution, saying the suggested provision is “anti-democratic.”

Several anti-political dynasty measures have also been filed before the 18th Congress but remain pending at the committee level.

Fulfilled promises

Duterte, who is set to step down from office in June 2022, said he would leave the presidency with gratitude because he has been able to fulfill his promises, including maintaining law and order in the country.

“Nahinumdom mo ang meeting ngari ug sa tanang tibook Pilipinas, wala ko manaad og daghan kay hibaw ko lisod og mubuhi ka'g istorya nga dili nimo dayunon og imo bang sala o di man gyud puwede nga maabot sa imong kapasidad. So ang una nakong gisaad ninyo ituman nako tanan (Can you remember that in all the meetings I had here and throughout the entire Philippines, I never promised many things because I know how difficult it is to make promises that you can’t keep regardless whether it was your fault or not or that it’s beyond your capacity. So I’ve fulfilled all the promises I made to you in the beginning),” he said.

Duterte added that he still has time to live up to “all” of his promises.

“Pero kanang una sa tanan, dawata ninyo ang akong utang kabubut-on sa kaninyo pagpahimo nakong Presidente. Siguro tinud-anay lang, wa nay hinambog, naningkamot gyud ko nga magsirbi sa atong nasod. Og unsa may akong naabot, the things that I have done and the things that I dreamed of doing, mura og naay gamayng nabilin para sa akong mga saad (But first of all, please accept my gratitude for making me President. Truthfully, without being cocky, I really strived hard to serve our country. Whatever I achieved, the things that I have done and the things that I dreamed of doing, there are still a little bit of time left for all my promises),” he said. (PNA)