BETING DOLOR: The ever expanding Marcos dynasty

It is not clear if Mr. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr is aware that there is a law against political dynasties. While it is true that the law is not being followed, it was still created for a reason.

Primarily, it acknowledges that political dynasties prevent ordinary Filipinos from having the opportunity to become public servants. This means that countless poor but intelligent and hardworking citizens who dream of serving the people will never get the chance, even as relatives of entrenched politicians can always expect to land a job as a “public servant” as a birthright.

There is hardly any province in any region throughout the archipelago that does not have a political dynasty or two. From the richest provinces to the poorest, fourth class ones, the top positions are always held by one family or another.

Sometimes, they come to some sort of agreement on who runs and who waits, with a gentleman’s agreement stating whose turn it will be to handle the reins of the local government.

Sometimes, dynasties fade to obscurity, as what happened in Pasay City after Pablo Cuneta passed away. In his time, he was the longest serving mayor in the country. He, however, could not force the electorate to vote for his close relatives, and the only one who could have taken his place – Megastar Sharon Cuneta, who else? – had no stomach for politics.

The musical chairs arrangement worked for a while in San Juan, with Erap Estrada all but ordering the residents of the small city to vote only for his anointed one to be mayor. One election it would be one of his wives, or his children, other times he would allow the bet of master political strategist and longtime ally Ronaldo Zamora to anoint the mayor and congressman of the historic city.

The two, however, had a falling out, and Zamora is now seen as the political kingpin of San Juan, with his son Francis presently serving as mayor.

This brings me to the classic political dynasty, the Marcoses of Ilocos Norte who are tied to the Romualdez clan of Leyte by marriage.

That would be the permanent ties that began with Ferdinand E. Marcos and Imelda Romualdez. Two of their kids are political animals like them, with one now serving as president of the republic, and another being a powerful voice in the Senate.

Between Bongbong Marcos and Imee Marcos, the dynasty continues to the point that it has become sickening to watch.

BBM, as the president is sometimes called, was first able to have his eldest son Sandro elected congressmen in his home turf of Ilocos Norte. Then, with BBM cousin Martin Romualdez as Speaker of the House, little Sandro is appointed senior deputy majority speaker, or some such silly title.

Remember, the guy had zero political experience. And he most certainly cuts a most unimpressive figure, with his whiny voice and odd statements on a variety of topics he knows little of.

This week, it was confirmed that the third of BBM’s sons, a kid named Vinny, had been named special assistant to his uncle, the aforementioned House speaker.

I am now twiddling my thumbs waiting for the day that the middle child of BBM will also get a government post. It may be in the legislative or it may be in the executive branch of government. But as surely as night follows day and gas follows a meal of beans, that middle son will land in the news, with palace spin doctors extolling his virtues as a future something or another.

This Vinny supposedly worked a tech job in Singapore, and only came home to help his father’s presidential campaign. He’s in his mid-20s, and does not appear to be as ‘antipatico’ as his Kuya Sandro.

But give him time.

When at last middle Marcos sibling receives his pay from the government, BBM would have done his dad one better.

See, the old dictator officially had three kids, ok? Imee, Bongbong, and Irene. Two went into politics while one avoided it like the plague.

BBM and his wife Liza have three kids and all of them will be government officials sooner rather than later.

Incidentally, the deposed strongman AKA BBM’s dad only allegedly had three kids. At least with Imelda, he had three. But the rumor mill has insisted since way, way back that he had a son with another woman, and that son was reportedly the intelligent one. He reportedly studied at UP where he had high grades, but was sent to the US where he may or may not still be living in the Pasadena area.

I shall say no more about that mystery son of the dictator. Just ask his half siblings if he indeed exists.

And while Imee has kept her Marcos surname for political expediency, she too has her own branch of the Marcos dynasty. One of her kids with sportsman Tommy Manotoc is now the governor of their home province.

Tommy and Imee have another son who was a popular male model for a while, but he seems to have shied away from the public eye of late. His name is Borgy and he does whatever it is that he wants to do without hurting anyone.

He actually lives near my place, and my partner has seen him on several occasions at a nearby mall, just chilling, usually by himself.

As for BBM’s non-political sis Irene, she married an Araneta and is occasionally seen attending this and that social function. She’s involved in the arts, as patroness I gather.

So what’s the big deal with Irene? The fact that she’s married to an Araneta.

Rings a bell, doesn’t it? Yes, she married into the rich clan, and lo and behold the wife of BBM is also an Araneta. The first lady is most certainly related to her sister-in-law.

Small world, isn’t it?

Or maybe not. But the Aranetas who own vast tracts of land in Cubao are also related to a certain Mar Roxas. Now I’m sure that name rings a bell really, really loud.

Conventional wisdom says Mar Roxas will never go back to politics, and certainly not as part of the Marcos government. But never say never in politics, especially Philippine politics.

See, the Marcos-Romualdez clan continues to grow, to the detriment of the maturity of Philippine politics. As this stage, it seem that nothing can be done to change the system. So we might as well accept that the Philippines is a badly damaged state, and dynasties are the principal cause of its awful condition.

If you believe change will come eventually, please know that the MacArthur Bridge is still for sale and I have the title to the property. I will accept bid starting at $100 million. No, make it half a billion.

Yup, just thinking of the country’s political dynasties has made me sick in the head.