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Opinion

Is the Senate an assembly of political dynasties?    

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

The whole nation of 112 million people are going to be lorded over by 24 lucky Filipinos, who represent the ultimate illustrations of political dynasties. If Jojo Binay wins, he will sit with Nancy Binay. If Mark makes it, his Senate babysitter is his mom, Cynthia Villar. If Alan Cayetano wins again, he will be seated next to Ate Pia Cayetano. Then the two sons of Erap, the good one and the "not so good" one, will be together again. This will make our country a distorted democracy by monopoly of power. Are you proud of it?

Well, this is nothing new. There was a time when Dra. Loi Estrada was in the Senate with Jinggoy. There was also a time when both Pia and Alan were in the Senate, and the two half-brothers too. I do not know if BBM and Imeldific were in the Senate simultaneously. Of course, earlier in our history, we had Don Filemon Sotto and Don Vicente Sotto but the older one was in the Senate from 1916 to 1922. The younger was elected in the 1940’s and 1950’s already. Was there a time when Sonny and Serge, cousins, were in the same Senate together? Yes, I think so. The Osmeñas were also parts of a dynasty.

Actually, we have had a lot of precedents. Ed Angara, from 1987 to 2013 and his son, Sonny, from 2013 up to present. Gaudencio Antonino, from 1961 to 1967 and his wife Magnolia, from 1967 to 1972. There were six Aquinos coming from the same family; Benigno Sr. from 1925 to 1934, Benigno Jr. or Ninoy from 1967 to 1972, Agapito “Butz” from 1987 to 1995, Benigno III (PNoy) from 2007 to 2010, Bam from 2013 to 2019, Tessie Aquino Oreta from 1998 to 2004. Kris almost made it as the seventh, if not for her health issues. There were also the Cayetanos; Renato Companero, the father, from 1998 to 2003, Pia from 2004 to 2016 and 2019 to present, Alan from 2007 to 2017. It's all in the family. Taguig has become their virtual empire, with wife, Lani and brother Lino.

Ramon Diokno was senator from 1946 to 1949 and his famous son, Jose, was senator from 1963 to 1972. If we elect Chel, Jose's son, that will be three generations of the great Dioknos. Erap was senator from 1987 to 1992, Dra. Loi from 2001 to 2007, Jinggoy from 2004 to 2016, and JV from 2013 to 2010. They were not related to Eva Estrada Kalaw, senator from 1965 to 1972. There were three generations of Guingonas; Teofisto Sr., from 1920 to 1923, Teofisto Jr. from 1987 to 1993 and from 1998 to 2001, and Teofisto III or TJ from 2010 to 2016 (what happened to TJ, by the way)? The Laurels too; Jose Sr., from 1951 to 1957 and from 1967 to 1972, Salvador “Doy” from 1967 to 1972, Sotero from 1987 to 1992. The Magsaysays; Genaro, the uncle, from 1959 to 1972, and Ramon Magsaysay Jr., the nephew, from 1995 to 2007.

The Marcoses: Ferdinand Sr., from 1959 to 1965, BBM from 2010 to 2016, Imee from 2016 to the present. The Osmeñas: Don Sergio from 1922 to 1935; Serging from 1965 to 1972; Sonny from 1971 to 1972, from 1987 to 1995, and from 1998 to 2004. Serge, from 1995 to 2007 and from 2010 to 2016. Nene Pimentel was senator from 1987 to 1992 and from 1998 to 2010. Koko Pimentel was senator in 2011 up to the present. Also three generations of Roxases; Don Manuel, from 1941 to 1946; Gerry from 1963 to 1972, and Mar from 2004 to 2010. The Sottos; Don Filemon from 1916 to 1922, Don Vicente from 1946 to 1950, Tito Sen from 1992 to 2004, and from 2010 to 2022. The Tañadas; Lorenzo, from 1947 to 1971 (four terms), and Wigberto from 1987 to 1995 (two terms).

Tecla Ziga, the first female to top the Bar exams, was senator from 1963 to 1969. Victor was senator from 1987 to 1992. Ramon Revilla Sr. was senator from 1992 to 2004. Bong was elected from 2004 to 2016, and from 2019 to present. Claro M. Recto was senator from 1931 to 1935, 1941 to 1946, and 1952 to 1960. Ralph Recto, the grandson, from 2001 to 2007 and from 2010 to 2022.

I don't mind the good ones but how about the jokers, the jesters, and those who could only dance the budots? My God, is this the country of people worth dying for? Ninoy must be squirming in his grave.

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