They made us do it.
That’s how Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte justified his family’s political dynasty in Davao City.
“I don’t like dynasties but we are forced … go to Davao [City], you conduct a survey … go to the people, ask the people,” he said during a speech at the 44th Philippine Business Conference and Expo in Manila yesterday.
Before becoming president, Duterte was the mayor of Davao City for two decades and even served as a congressperson for one term. He followed the footsteps of his father Vicente Duterte who was governor of Davao.
This dynasty is likely to continue as three of his children, Sara Duterte-Carpio, Paolo Duterte, and Sebastian Duterte, are all running for positions in Davao City for next year’s midterm elections.
Sara, who took over their father’s spot as mayor of Davao City when the latter ran for president in 2016, is gunning for a reelection.
Paolo, who resigned from being Vice Mayor in December last year following a public spat with his daughter and allegations of links to the drug trade, is running for a seat in the House of Representatives.
Sebastian, on the other hand, is running for Vice Mayor despite not having any prior experience in politics.
While the president has expressed support for the anti-political dynasty bill in the past, he simply does not see anything wrong with what his family is doing. To him, it’s actually a sign of a politician’s job well done.
“That’s what people ask for,” President Duterte said as quoted by ABS-CBN News.
He also said that he’s OK with his children ruling Davao City because he does not want to see it “go back in shambles,” reported the Manila Bulletin.
Well, that’s mighty noble of him?
His daughter Sara Duterte has similar thoughts. While she admits that they are a dynasty, she told reporters on Wednesday that she sees no problem with that because the people in Davao still go through a “democratic process.”
“We really cannot deny that. The detractors and opposition will say it’s [a] political dynasty. Yes, it’s a political dynasty. That we are submitting ourselves to an election, it’s still a democratic process,” Sara said according to MindaNews.
Paolo shrugged off the issue as well. “Usually, when you come from a family of doctors, you become a doctor; when you come from a family of politicians, most likely you will become a politician,” he said.
He also pointed out how they’re not the only political dynasty in the country.
“It’s not good to point fingers, but it’s not only here in Davao City. It’s not only here in the Philippines. What you can see in the other countries, it’s all the same,” Paolo said.
And he’s not wrong.
Dynasties are part and parcel of Philippine politics, even though it is technically illegal under the constitution.
For example, despite intense backlash for the Marcoses after their patriarch Ferdinand Marcos ruled as a dictator, the family continues to rule in their stronghold, Ilocos Norte.
Infamous First Lady Imelda Marcos is the incumbent Congressperson for Ilocos Norte’s 2nd District and is now running for governor. Her grandson Matthew Manotoc will run for vice governor.
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