Filipino Bishop Denounces Rise of Political Dynasties within Government

Auxiliary Bishop Jose Bagaforo Warns that Oligarchy Will Worsen Corruption

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MANILA, Philippines, OCT. 8, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo of Cotabato, Philippines has publicly condemned the spread of political dynasties throughout the country. The Filipino prelate expressed his concern that an oligarchy would effectively worsen problems of corruption within the government.

In an interview with the Filipino Catholic station, Radio Veritas, Bishop Bagaforo said that number of elitist political families on the ballot for next year's midterm elections would  "affect the checks and balances" in the government.  Several candidates belong to various political clans, among them the brother of incumbent Senator Pia Cayetano, the son of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, and the aunt and cousin of Filipino President Benigno Aquino III.

The auxiliary bishop cautioned that the absence of a law prohibiting political dynasties would pave the way for ever increasing families and their relatives to control top positions within the government. "Other people should be given the chance (to serve) and not just some families forever and ever until kingdom come," he said.

"What’s wrong is that this is a big temptation to abuse power. As what they say, absolute power can corrupt you absolutely."

Among those who are joining Bishop Bagaforo's call against political dynasties was the Center for People Power Empowerment in Government (CenPeg).

The civil society group stated that the potential oligarchy within the government has grown to "a higher and blatant scale, making the fair representation of the large majority of Filipinos even more [impossible]."

"What is definitely emerging as a scandalous reality is that political dynasties are more blatant and active today," a CenPeg representative stated.