EDITORIAL: Offsprings of Dynasticism



The nation has just witnessed a poorly scripted political show that started as a comedy but may potentially end up as a tragedy. Eventually it shall be titled political swindle via butterflyism. What started to be a comedy drama featuring the Duterte father and daughter must be treated with a grain of salt. The surprised reaction of President Duterte about his daughter Mayor Sarah Duterte- Carpio is suspect of a grand political design.


The initial pronouncement of Mr. Duterte that he would run for vice president and face-off with his daughter, but eventually filing a certificate of candidacy for senator, revealed again his real self and his penchant for double talk.


The president has slyly paved the way to ensure that Inday Sarah is carried by two presidential aspirants- Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and Senator Bong Go. The development uncovered the role of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) and the footprints of political dynasticism.


The Marcoses and Dutertes are prominent advocates for dynasticism and GMA has so much at stake in the future electoral processes. The trio are left no choice but to protect each other. They find challenges to dynasticism abhorrent, because of the prospect of diminished power, given that power corrupts. Dynasties find corruption very tempting and beneficial.


In the long run, they develop the feeling of entitlement, which becomes intense given that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This political malaise is not only true in the national scene. It has become a trend even in local politics, particularly in Camarines Sur.


Provincewide, the Villafuerte dynasty is methodically creeping into the entire province with Migz Villafuerte as governor but obviously under the direction of 2nd District Representative L-Ray Villafuerte. To tighten up the family’s control of the province, Migz has opted to run for 5th District Representative. To ensure continuous grip of the province, Luigi Villafuerte has been making the rounds of the province in pursuance of his gubernatorial ambition.


Political dynasticism tends to concentrate power within a family at a given jurisdiction. This is true in Camarines Sur’s Partido District. For more than two decades the Fuentebella family has reigned in the district. The late Arnulfo Noli Fuentebella successfully passed on to his children and wife political control within the district, starting from Wimpy Fuentebella, who is currently undersecretary of the Department of Energy, but prior to that served as 4th District Representative, with Sagñay and Tigaon towns as their power base.


Then came Arnie who after serving as mayor of Tigaon town took over as 4th District Representative. Noli’s widow, Mrs. Evelyn Fuentebella, took control of LGU Sagñay. Tigaon town is now being governed by Pamela Fuentebella, while John Vincent Fuentebella as Sagñay’s incumbent mayor.


Arnie Fuentebella now seems comfortable in his re-election bid when movie personality Anjo Yllana chickened out. The rematch between Representative Arnie and Nonoy Magtoto did not materialize. Tony Chavez, a former town mayor and whose son- doctor is running for re-election as mayor, is the new challenger. Chavez is presently holding a juicy position under the Duterte administration. But whether Tony stands a chance as pitted against Arnie remains to be seen.


Also of interest is the congressional battle in the 5th District between incumbent Governor Migz Villafuerte and incumbent Iriga’s City Mayor Madel Alfelor-Gazmen. In a sense, the Rinconada district political contest is actually a battle of dynasties. The hold of the Alfelor family within Rinconada has been interrupted by the entry of the undefeated couple of legislators Salvio Fortuno and Josie Fortuno, whose pronouncement of retirement proved short lived, given the entry of Salvio Fortuno Jr. as vice gubernatorial bet.


As to gubernatorial aspirant Rolando Andaya Jr., he had all the makings of building a dynasty, only that fate had been unkind due to events beyond his control, particularly the death of his wife.