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2013 Senatoriables and their political pedigrees

6 May 2013

by Mona Magno-Veluz

Qualification, Platform, Motive — these are the three textbook criteria voters should look at when we exercise our right to chose our leaders.  But as we near yet another election, many questions return.  Does political pedigree matter?  Do candidates whose family members are also in politics do so out of a remarkable, collective desire to serve the nation?  Or are they simply protecting the influence and power their positions have brought their families?

Table 1. The Political Pedigree Quadrants

I looked at the genealogies of the 2013 candidates for the Senate and I classified them into four groups, based on the number of relatives who have held public services posts in recent and distant history.

Lone Wolves

These candidates do not have any relatives in government today.   Or at least, not that we know of.  They are Samson Alcantara, Greco Belgica, Teodoro Casiño, Rizalito David, Baldomero Falcone, Edward Hagedorn, Gregorio Honasan, Risa Hontiveros, Marwil Llasos, Ernesto Maceda, Ramon Montaño, Ricardo Penson, Antonio Trillanes IV and Eddie Villanueva.

Fading Families

Jamby Madrigal does not have any relatives active in government today.  But her families include past public servants:  Pacita Madrigal-Gonzalez (aunt – legislator), Chito Madrigal-Collantes (aunt – legislator), José Abad Santos (grandfather – chief justice), Vicente Lopez Madrigal (grandfather – legislator) and Pedro Abad Santos (granduncle – legislator).

Nouveau Politicos

A handful of candidates have made politics a relatively recent family “business”.  These candidates have one or more family members currently or recently active in politics; but they have no true political pedigree to speak of.

  • Nancy Binay – Abigail Binay (sister – legislator).  Jejomar Binay, Jr. (brother – mayor).  Jejomar Binay (father – mayor, vice-president).  Elenita Sombillo-Binay (mother – mayor).
  • Alan Peter Cayetano – Pia S. Cayetano (sister – legislator).  Rene Carl S. Cayetano (brother – councilor).  Lino Edgardo S. Cayetano (brother – baranggay captain).  Renato Cayetano (father – legislator)
  • JV Ejercito  –  Jinggoy Ejercito (half-brother – mayor, legislator). Emilio Ejercito (first cousin – mayor, governor). Girlie Ejercito (first-cousin’s wife – mayor). Gary Ejercito (first cousin – provincial board). Joseph Estrada (father – mayor, legislator, president). Luisa Pimentel-Ejercito (father’s wife – legislator).
  • Jack Enrile – Salvacion Santiago-Enrile (wife – legislator).  Juan Ponce Enrile (father – legislator).  Christina Castañer-Enrile (mother – ambassador to Vatican).
  • Richard Gordon.  John Carlos de los Reyes (nephew – senatorial aspirant).  James J. Gordon (brother – mayor).  James Leonard Gordon (father – mayor). Amelia Juico-Gordon (mother – mayor).
  • John Carlos Gordon de los ReyesSee entries under Richard Gordon.
  • Loren Legarda – Jose Antonio S. Leviste II (husband’s nephew – vice-governor).  Antonio Leviste (husband – governor).  Feliciano P. Leviste (husband’s uncle – governor).
  • Aquilino Pimentel III – Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.(father – mayor, legislator).
  • Grace Poe – Fernando Poe Jr. (father – Presidential aspirant).
  • Christian Señeres – Roy V. Señeres (father – Phil labor attache in UAE).
  • Cynthia Villar – Manny Villar (husband – legislator).  Vergel Aguilar (brother – mayor). Imelda T. Aguilar (sister – mayor).  Filemon Aguilar (father – legislator).

Political Dynasties

These candidates have relatives occupying elected and appointed positions in government for multiple generations — acquired by blood and by marriage.  They are entrenched in politics, business and high society.  Their campaigns are run like clockwork because patronage politics in their home provinces run deep and their ancestors have laid the foundation for a nationwide support system.  Meet the politically pedigreed.

  • Juan Edgardo Angara.  Generation 0: Godofredo Angara, Jr. (cousin – QC city engineer). Karen G. Angara (cousin – councilor). Zenaida A. Collinson (Phil Consul in London).  Generation 1: Edgardo Angara (father – legislator). Arturo J. Angara (uncle – mayor). Bellaflor J. Angara-Castillo (aunt – governor, legislator). Godofredo J. Angara (uncle – QC city engineer). Joselito J. Angara (uncle – mayor). Leticia J. Angara-Moises (aunt – DSWD Usec).  Generation 2: Jose Angara (grand-uncle – legislator).
  • Bam Aquino.  Generation 0: Benigno C. Aquino III (first cousin – legislator, president).  Generation 1: Agapito A. Aquino (uncle – legislator). Benigno A. Aquino (uncle – mayor, governor, legislator). Corazon C. Aquino (aunt – president). Tessie A. Aquino (aunt – legislator).  Antolin Oreta (aunt’s husband – mayor).  Generation 2: Benigno Simeon Q. Aquino (grandfather – legislator). Melecio Lampa Aquino (granduncle – legislator).  Herminio Sanchez Aquino (granduncle – legislator).  Generation 3: Servillano A. Aquino (great-grandfather – mayor, governor, legislator).  Generation 4: Braulio Aquino (2x great-grandfather – mayor).  Generation 5: Mariano V. Henson (3x great-grand-uncle – mayor).  Generation 7: Angel Pantaleon de Miranda (5x great-grandfather – founder of Angeles, Pampanga).
  • Tingting Cojuangco.  Generation -1: Benigno C. Aquino (husband’s nephew – legislator, president). Charlie Cojuangco (husband’s first cousin’s son – legislator), Mark Cojuangco (husband’s first cousin’s son – legislator), Dodot Jaworski (son-in-law – legislator). Isabel Cojuangco-Suntay (husband’s first cousin’s daughter – governatorial aspirant). Gibo Teodoro (husband’s first cousin’s son – presidential aspirant, cabinet member).  Generation 0: Jose S. Cojuangco (husband – mayor, legislator). Cory S. Aquino (sister-in-law, president). Danding M. Cojuangco (husband’s first cousin – governor, presidential aspirant). Enrique M. Cojuangco (husband’s first cousin – legislator). Mercedes M. Cojuangco (husband’s first cousin – legislator). Gilberto Teodoro (husband’s first cousin’s husband – SSS President). Robert Jaworski (daughter’s father-in-law – legislator).  Edu Manzano (first cousin – vice-mayor, VP aspirant).  Vilma Santos (first cousin’s ex-wife – governor). Generation 1: Jose Chichioco Cojuangco, Sr. (father-in-law – legislator). Eduardo Chichioco Cojuangco, Sr. (husband’s uncle – governor).  Generation 2: Melecio Estrella Cojuangco (husband’s grandfather – legislator).  Explore her family tree here.
  • Francis Escudero.  Generation 1: Salvador H. Escudero III (father – legislator). Generation 2: Salvador Escudero, Jr. (grandfather – mayor). Generation 3: Salvador C. Escudero Sr. (great-grandfather – mayor, governor).
  • Ramon Magsaysay, Jr.  Generation -1: Mitos Magsaysay (wife of first cousin’s son).  Generation 0: Vicente Magsaysay (first cousin – governor). Eulogio Magsaysay (first cousin – legislator).  Generation 1: Ramon Magsaysay (father – president).
  • Mitos Magsaysay.  See entries under Ramon Magsaysay Jr.
  • Juan Miguel Zubiri.  Generation 0: Joey Zubiri (brother – legislator). Ignacio W. Zubiri (cousin – councilor, vice-mayor).  Generation 1: Jose Maria Zubiri (father – legislator, governor). Rosenda Anne Ocampo (aunt – legislator). Pablo V. Ocampo IV (uncle – councilor).  Generation 2: Pablo V. Ocampo (granduncle – legislator).   Generation 3: Bartolome Seda Fernandez (great-grandfather – provincial auditor). Manuel Maronilla Calleja (great-granduncle – governor). Pablo Ocampo (great-grandfather – legislator).  Generation 4: Ignacio Calleja (2x great-grandfather – mayor).

Does a family’s need to field other family members to available positions in government translate to a sinister agenda?  Can a politician who bears an unfamiliar surname win a national election?  You decide.

Table 2. 2013 Senatoriables and their Relatives in Government

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