By Jevie Jebong de Guzman
October 13, 2012
Malasique, Pangasinan - A proverbial David and Goliath mayoralty fight looms in Malasiqui but this time it is David and 2 Goliaths - with me, your public servant , running as independent candidate against the two powerful political families including the incumbent mayor and or in his incapacity, the fielding of his brother as his Vice Mayor and the other candidate who ruled the town in the past whose son is also currently in public office --- two clear cases of political dynasties.
This move of the incumbent mayor made me realize that after his term, he has no plan to relinquish power and that he wants a perpetual hold to his position by choosing a kin as his successor. On the other hand, the move of the other candidate made me realize that they wanted to go back in power to build back the dynasty. Ang tanong ko po. Wala na bang ibang mapili na kuwalipikado ang mga taga Malasiqui?
The banning of political dynasties is Constitutionally guaranteed. However, we have seen how national to regional to local political dynasties have set aside this provision which is not self executing and needs an enabling law.
Political dynasties are of two distinct forms: a horizontal one wherein members of a dynasty simultaneously hold different elective positions; and a vertical one , wherein an incumbent is succeeded to the same office by another dynasty member. Monopoly of political power thus prevails and the broader the sections of the citizenry are left out of the political arena.
Why do I frown upon dynasties like all other democracy - loving Filipinos?
It is because political dynasties are frequently the source of electoral fraud and violence. Increasing disenchantment of the people paralleled by the political clans own greed for power bring the dynasties to entertain various political options, including undemocratic and questionable methods.
They even claimed that they are not building dynasty but building a legacy instead. What legacy? A legacy to get rich while thousands of our kabaleyans live in poverty and as a proof, the number of indigents as per DSWD record will speak of this – one of the highest number of indigents in Region 1. Are they building a legacy with no transparency while the town’s debt is ballooning and while trying to show to the world that the town is progressing? Or is it just facelift to cover the true state of the town? Truly, it is sickening to claim such legacy but in fact it is purely dynasty.
I have already one term as municipal councillor and I have seen the true status of our kabaleyans. Now I have decided to level up in order to broaden voters ' participation in a democratic culture. Many of those running have their own program of actions. We all say we want reforms. Still, I hope that voters will also have an opportunity to carefully scrutinize the candidates' track records on key public interest issues before making their final choices. If we want reforms, we should start from transforming local politics and crushing the dynasties and politicians who are enriching themselves with power and money while many of our kabaleyans are living below poverty. My heart and my conscience dictate that I must run to initiate reforms and I will not build my own political dynasty to give others the chance to lead and serve.
With all humility, I am running independently against powerful backdrops to show my kabaleyans that there are options, choices, and reforms to be done in our hometown. I am strongly for good governance, human rights, labor concerns, environment, women and children, senior citizens and pro poor policies. I am for transparency. In my fold, dis-empowered, underrepresented and marginalized sectors are guaranteed representation.
At the end of the day, I will be proud to say I am a public servant. I will basically go down to the grassroots to be with my people, hear their grievances, and deliver their basic support services needs. I should know - I have known poverty like them.
In the coming elections, I ask every Malasiqui resident to fight for their future. Most fundamentally, this initiative begins by choosing wisely. A Pro-God, pro-poor, pro-people candidate is the call of the hour.
I am offering myself with utmost sincerity to serve and lead our beloved town as I leave the decisions to the Almighty God and in your good hands. #