Political dynasties have secured their place in the Philippines House of Representatives in the last three administrations, occupying close to 55 percent of congressional seats.
Regarding the party-lists, data from online news website Rappler and election watchdog Kontra-Daya show that 31 percent (18 out of 58) of party-list seats were occupied by members of political dynasties in 2015. A study by the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center concluded that political dynasties occupied 25 percent of party-list seats (14 out of 56) in the 16th Congress. Meanwhile, out of 65 party-list seats in the 17th Congress, 22 were occupied by political dynasties, accounting for 33 percent.
In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that national and regional parties “do not need to organize along sectoral lines and do not need to represent any marginalized and underrepresented sector.” This made it easier for members of political dynasties to run as party-list representatives. In the guise of political plurality, the Supreme Court allowed national and regional parties or organisations to invade what is and should have been, constitutionally and statutorily, a protected space. In the 1987 Constitution and RA 7941 the party-list system was not intended as a mere political plurality, but plurality with a heart for the poor and disadvantaged so that their voices could be heard in the House of Representatives.
Considering also the Party List of ACT-CIS, backed by Erwin Tulfo, anchorman of the PTV, People’s Televison Network, owned by the Filipino Government, who can gather millions of votes and more sits in the House of Representatives, all the sits for party-lists and the Senate will be practically owned by people close to the President Duterte. The Senate was the lone institution that has so far eluded his consolidation. Now with Senate and House in his hands the power of Duterte will be like that of Marcos 50 years ago.