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Political Dynasties in the Philippines: In My Opinion

Next year’s Philippine midterm elections are fast approaching and it paints an all too-familiar image once again: candidates that are ei...



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Elections are indeed, one of the most essential features of the Philippine republican democracy. The right of suffrage advances the principle that sovereignty resides in the people and that all government authority emanates from them.

But one should not forget that as a representative democracy, the people came into a social contract with the state and the government to do things legitimately on the peoples’ behalf.

Last October 18, in a close 8-7 decision by the Supreme Court, the Republic Act 10153 was upheld for Malacañang to appoint officials or extend the term of incumbent leaders without holding the scheduled elections. It also authorizes the President to appoint Officers-In-Charge (OICs) to replace incumbent ARMM officials and allow for synchronization with the national elections in 2013.

This position paper affirms the decision of the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the ARMM Elections postponement from May 2011 to May 2013. The paper contends that there is a sound reason why one would have to believe that the said act is constitutional.

Firstly, it is within the power of Congress to synchronize the elections. In the government’s administration, it is of great importance to look into the “decisions of courts interpreting the characters of administrative bodies and defining their powers, rights, inhibitions, among others, and the effects of their determinations and regulations” [1] as such concerns both the government and the polity. In a press interview, Supreme Court spokesperson Midas Marquez stated that, “The majority believes that it is in the Power of congress to synchronize ARMM elections and it is also in the power of the Congress to authorize the President to appoint OIC’s”.

The Screening Committee feature of the act was supposed to submit to the President on or before September 20 a shortlist of three names per position, for him to choose the OIC Governor, OIC Vice Governor and 24 members of the regional Legislative Assembly who will “reform” and “transform” the ARMM from September 30 until June 30, 2013.

Secondly, according to Marquez, the synchronization of the ARMM elections with the national elections to be held two years from now goes with the logic that “if local political families must attend to their election at the same time that national elections are being conducted, they will be less able to utilize command votes in favor of political patrons to subvert the national will”.

Such postponement in the ARMM elections is not new. The first postponement by R.A. 9140 (approved on June 22, 2001) came before R.A. 9054 (ARMM Organic Law) was ratified. In fact, R.A. 9140 set the ratification date on August 15, 2001 and the elections on November 26, 2001.

Nonetheless, the goal of the said Supreme Court decision is to iron out the kinks on the region marred with decades of violence and impunity. According to the presidential press statement, “The administration incessantly supported the bill to synchronize the ARMM elections with national elections in an effort to end the vicious cycle of abnormal elections where the mandate of the people is subverted by means of the command vote wielded by local political families”.

The existence of “command voting” has contributed to the cycle of impunity, the results of which have been demonstrated in the region being bloodied by the reign of impunity, as witnessed by the Maguindanao Massacre, in which 57 people were allegedly killed by a local political family.

This same impunity also showed itself in the anomalies in office Maguindanao Governor Zaldy Ampatuan not being able to account for the release of more than 865 million in cash advances to officers.

Apparently, the President’s government-appointed OIC is a means to get rid and take control of the ARMM officials who have gained control of the region. Notwithstanding this rather obvious fact, it is still held that the Power of congress covers the synchronization of the ARMM elections and to authorize the President to appoint OIC’s. The writer sees this as a deterrent to the ARMM political families to commit election related crimes thus agreeing to the constitutionality of the Supreme Court decision.

Reference:[1] Cruz, Carlo L. Philippine Administrative Law. 2003 Ed. Manila: Central Law Books Publishing Co., Inc. 20. p.5.

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Here's the third installation of my Facebook wall posts.

Another batch of satirical statements, mind-tickling jokes, notions, doubts, opinions, beliefs, assertions, assumptions, mockeries, sarcasm, silliness, and other forms of bluster.

For the benefit of my blog readers who don't have the luxury of checking out my Facebook posts, I've compiled my monthly posts, these were my posts for the month of August, April, and June last year. I hope that you'll enjoy the hodge-podge of these ideas and I urge you to share your comment about the posts since one can't click "Like" here.

April 22

Mr. Bonds, Jame Bonds. Ms. Jones, Celine Jones.

Ang mga cartoons, kapag naputukan ng dinamita, bomba, at TNT, ay hindi namamatay - nadudungisan lamang ng uling.

Sabi ng mga matatanda, bawal daw masugatan ngayong Biernes Santo kasi di na raw ito maghihilom. Ang inaalala ko, pano yung mga nagpapapenitensya?

Hindi lahat ng 'blacks' ay talagang maitim. Ang iba nga ay mas maputi pa s mga 'whites'.

Where does the supressed fart go?

Kung sana ang lahat ng milyung-milyong dolyares na ating napapanalunan sa mga FB games tulad ng Mafia Wars, Farmville, at iba pa, mayaman na sana ang Pinas.

Bakit Biernes Santo sa Tagalog habang Good Friday naman ang ito sa Ingles?

April 7

Ano nga ba ang mga pagsubok na ibinibigay sa aplikante na naghahangad maging tagasalà ng mga aplikante?

Month of August
Ano nga ba ang halaga ng buhay? Para sa marami, importanteng mabuti ang uri ng alaala na iniiwan natin sa ibang tao. Dahil nga sa puso at memorya lamang tunay na nagtatagal ang kabutihan. Nguni't dumarating pa rin ang panahong mabubura ito sa isipan ng lahat ng taong nabubuhay, ang mga estatwa ay nasisira, ang mga litrato ay kumukupas. Para sa akin, mawala man ako sa mundo, ang mabubuting alaala ay maiwan ko man lang sana sa mga taong buhây pa... sa mga oras na ito.

Sa lahat ng detalye, mga munting aksyon at desisyon ng mga tao, sa palagay ko, laging napapangiti ang Dios sa panonood sa atin dito sa mundo.

Kaya pala walang pagpapalâ; kasi wala palang sariling palô. - JLG

Kapag basag na ang baso; kapag kunot-kunot na ang papel; kapag natapon na ang kape sa tasa mo, wala ka nang dapat gawin kundi kumuha ng bagong kapalit.

Posts for the month of June

June 7

Ano ang kaibahan ng bapor sa barko at baroto?

Ano ang official radio station ng Reproductive Health Bill? DzRH.

June 3

Kahit mas marami at malakas ang weaponry ng mga Chinese; 'di na siguro tayong mag-atubiling makipaglaban sa kanila. Kasi naman ang ammo nila, MADE IN CHINA. :)

maDALLAS pumasok ang mga tira ni Nowitzki; pero MIAMI din ang mga dunks ni Wade.

June 2

Ang taong nanloko sa iba ay walang ibang naloko kundi ang kanyang sarili. -JLG

Kung talaga ngang Bikini "Open". Eh bakit may mga saplot pa sila? Open na nga dapat eh...

June 1

Mahirap na raw ang panahon ngayon; mahal na ang mga bilihin. Pero ang taong may sabi nito kanina, may tangan-tangan namang bote ng beer at nagsisigarilyo pa. Kung mahirap ang buhay PAPAANONG NAKAPAGBIBISYO KA PA?

Ano ang pinagkaiba ng bapor sa barko?

Kung talaga ngang may "Party! Party!"... nasaan ang celebrant?

Bakit nga ba ang mga pari ang talagang aktibung-aktibo sa pagkundena sa Reproductive Health Bill? 'Di naman sila ang nagre-reproduce.

Dear China: Maawa naman kayo sa 'Pinas. Kapiranggot lang naman ang hangad namin; 'di naman lahat sa Spratlys. Balato n'yo na lang ito sa amin kasi hindi naman kami lalaban sa inyo eh.

Pwede ka bang makulong kapag hindi ka nakapagbayad ng utang na loob?

Bilib na sana ako sa lasenggo 'dun sa amin. Pabor daw siya sa RH. Red Horse Beer.

Eh ano ngayon kung sintunado, at least tama naman ang... diction.

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For four years now since 2008, the ABS-CBN News Channel's Square Off has been hosting televised national inter-school debate competitions.

I know that this is but a tough competition ahead of us yet our eyes still shine with optimism, as it always should be. The Mindanaoan team is represented by Abdul Raffy A. Tomawis, and me, JR Lopez Gonzales in a modified Oxford-Oregon (Cross-Examination) debate format trained by the best of MSU lawyers headed by Atty. Alizedney M. Ditucalan.

For some backgrounders on the team, Raffy and I are colleagues in the MSU-IIT debate society. All of us are from the Law Extension class in MSU-IITand this time, represents the entire system for the said event. This is the first time for the MSU College of Law to participate in such a huge occasion.

For three years in college, I've been debating in the undergrad for the varsity (and winning some medals along the way); yet this is one of the most important competitions for me. My alma mater, MSU-IIT performed very well in the Frankahan a few years back ; apparently this puts a bigger toll on us in the new playing field of legal realm.

Discarding such pressure, we cross our fingers with the thought of doing the best for the university and the people we love.

In behalf of the team, I ask for your support and appreciate the beauty of discourse through the said national televised event. Please watch our debate match at ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC, Channel 27 on Sky Cable) on October 7 (Friday) at 7:00 PM. Mabuhay Mindanao!