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Fame and Lucre – Supreme Kingmakers


If you examine very critically the hierarchy of political power in our country today, one thing is immediately apparent and generally observable, majority are recycled politicians. The overwhelming percentage comes from the same bloodlines or dynastic genealogies. From the dawn of our political independence as a state, the same family names dominate our authority structure from the lowest to the highest government units.

Except the judicial branch, the institutional memberships of the legislative and executive are largely remakes or replicates of the political families which have controlled our political landscape from the birth of Philippine democracy.  The same is true in the local government units. Governors, mayors, and councilors are descendants of families which had at one time or another were also prominent and formidable political officials in various capacities.

Since the invention of election as legal process of acquiring political power in our country, the ones who possess the highest probability and wherewithal of grabbing any public offices they aspire to occupy are those who have the biggest monetary stockpiles which constitute the ultimatel capital for carrying out a competitive or triumphant electoral campaign. This is complemented and bolstered by their alliances and membership to major and opulently financed political parties and blocs which  also  have the superior machinery for whatever scale and length of propaganda  or campaign to ensure any quantum of votes necessary  for a landslide victory in the polls.

Sifting through the decomposing and corroded records of our political existence and electoral process, it is almost a certainty that same family names would keep appearing in the historical continuum with extremely rare instances of interruption and deviation. Some variations from the original primary bloodlines could only occur if economically parasitic but multi-talented and qualified individuals by stroke of fortune are taken into the major political parties as sponsored members or by the legal and religious tradition of intermarriage. Others cleverly use this marital bandwagon with spouses selectively taken from the celebrity and popularity producing silver screen of the movie industry virtually making fame and money as the biggest kingmakers in the Philippine political system today.

The magic winning combination in the political game at whatever level anywhere in the Philippines today is money and popularity. This is the reason why, incumbent elective officials and those who are planning to throw their political hats into the political ring struggle to their wits’ end to create or invent all kinds of gimmicks, tactics, and strategies to make them popular and accumulate fiscal resources long before the electoral campaign begins. This clearly explains why incumbent politicians despite the prohibition and strong  criticism against using government-owned vehicles, bridges, overpasses, barangay halls, school buildings, electric posts,  and all other public works and places as their permanent and mobile posters, billboards, streamers, and other popularity and propaganda materials, they continuously pretend to be deaf and blind. Some very clever incumbent politicians even go to the extent of running and hosting their own TV and radio programs to make sure that they are always heard and seen by the electorate or a regular basis. We just hope that not a single centavo of the people’s money is being channeled to these popularity-sustaining network programs of our politicians.

Do you want to be a King or a Queen in any kingdom in the Philippines? First you much have plenty of lucre. Second you should be famous like a universal Rock Star. Right now, I could not think of any other tried and tested formula to make you win in any political tournament.

By Clem M. Bascar

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