The next presidential election scheduled for May 2022 could see a historic first in the Philippines. A first that would reaffirm and reproduce the most powerful and debilitating continuity of Philippine democracy. 2022 could well see Sara Duterte succeed her father as president. While conventional practice at the local and provincial level, no Philippine president has been succeeded by a family member. In 2010, Benigno Aquino III followed in his mother’s footsteps and became president, eighteen years after Corazon Aquino’s single six-year presidential term ended.
Sara, on top of with her responsibilities as mayor Davao City, has been criss-crossing the country establishing her new Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) party, and announcing alliances with a growing number of political parties beholden, as is HNP, to political dynasties. The dynasties that through their own political parties that have joined up with the Duterte dynasty and HNP so far include the Marcos dynasty of Ilocos Norte, the Macapagal-Arroyo one of Pampanga, the Bernos dynasty of Abra, the Estrada dynasty centred in San Juan, Metro Manila, the Cayetano dynasty from Taguig, Metro Manila, the Villar one from Las Piñas in Metro Manila, and the Jalosjos one of Zamboanga del Norte. The HNP senatorial slates for the 2019 mid-term elections are a mixture of allied dynastic leaders and loyal followers of her father.
Dr Malcolm Cook is Senior Fellow at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute.
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