PL Watch



Run by political dynasties and traditional politicians

The ultimate sign of elite capture is the formation of partylists that essentially serve to expand dynastic rule. Not content with district representation in congress, political families leverage their local bailiwicks to contest the partylist votes. The partylist election effectively becomes more and more like local and district elections, instead of elections that facilitate election of political parties with dispersed constituencies or sectoral representation. 

Dynastic rule can take various forms. On the one hand, it becomes the next step for local politicians that run out of term in their local units. These politicians opt to run for partylist as an alternative post to retain power in the local albeit through a national seat, while their relatives occupy the local elective position they vacate for the next term/s. Some examples of former local politicians include Bagong Henerasyon and Pilipinas Para Sa Pinoy Partylist, whose nominees served as local councilors in Quezon City and Taguig City respectively. Another example is Anakalusugan Partylist nominee Atty. Gina Mandanas,who is the former representative of Marinduque. Her mother is the former Governor of Marinduque and her husband is the incumbent Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas. Buklod Filipino nominee is former Mayor of Imus City. GP Party representative Jose Gay G. Padiernos. served as Vice Governor of Nueva Ecija for three terms prior to running in the partylist. 

Another prime example from Quezon Province is Anna Villaraza Suarez, the wife of re-electionist representative from the 2nd district of Quezon David Suarez, who is running for re-election as ALONA partylist representative. ALONA second nominee Monica Arcillas Nazareno is also the daughter of  Arlene Arcillas who is the current mayor of Sta. Rosa City Laguna.

Dumper PDTA is also clearly controlled by one political family. Rep. Claudine Bautista’s father is currently the incumbent governor of Davao Occidental. Her aunt is the congressman of the lone district of the same province.

Partylists can also be a dynastic sandbox where party-list seats are used as a training ground for children and/or relatives of well-established dynasties. They establish new partylists that go together with local campaigns to introduce their children in politics. If their children/relatives win in the newly established partylists, their dynasty automatically has a local and national franchise. 

CIBAC is a key example. While Jesus is Lord Evangelist Rep. Eddie Villanueva currently serves as representative in congress, incumbent senator Joel Villanueva previously served as CIBAC representative where he was able to gain a national audience. Sherwin Tugna, Senator Villanueva’s brother-in-law, also served as CIBAC’s representative. New partylist United Filipino Consumers and Commuters (UFCC) has as its first nominee, the daughter of Senatorial Aspirant Larry Gadon. Another case is Bryan Revilla, son of Senator Bong Revilla and Bacoor Mayor Lani Mercado is running as first nominee of Agimat Partylist. Ako Bisaya is another one  – the first nominee Sonny Lagon’s wife will be running as a representative for Cebu’s first district. The second nominee is the incumbent mayor of Consolacion city, Joannes Alegado. PDP Cares 1st nominee, Kathryna Yu-Pimentel is also the wife of Senator Koko Pimentel.