How Much Do We Know About Oligarchs?

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Oligarch – somewhat formal : a person who belongs to a small group of people who govern or control a country, business, etc.

2016 Oath of Presidential-Elect Rodrigo Duterte with the First Family.

Whenever the term Oligarchs is used, we tend to pinpoint on well-known families like Aquinos, Lopez and Marcoses as the major Political Powers. But did you know that there are other dynasties that are way bigger than the latter? I hope that this article gives you a glimpse on the reality of Political Powers in the Philippines and an idea who to vote for at 2022.

Disclaimer: Do note that the presented data are extracted and compiled to a masterlist from different government websites, government-affiliated sites and major news publishing articles. Monetary related data are crossed-reference from DBM Released Guidelines and Estimates based on the Executive Order No. 201 (Salary Standardization Law IV). Thus, only 21st Century Politicians are included in Monetary Analysis to Match the Position-Salary Grade Matrix.

Sources: Senate, Congress, Official Gazette, DBM, PSA, LGU Websites.

In this article series, I’ll be tackling four major topics relating to Political Dynasties and Oligarchies.

  • Minorities And Regional Posts;
  • Families Who Earned The Most In Politics;
  • 21st Century Politicians Who Earned the Most;
  • Influential Families Who Shaped Contemporary Philippine Laws.

I’ll be posting more topics in different articles with analysis based from existing data soon.

Minorities And Regional Posts Matter

Three (3) Ortega Relatives from La Union ran at the same seat in the 2016 Elections.

Most political dynasties tend to take positions at a ‘Regional Post’ instead of aiming at a National Post.  No wonder we were surprised that the biggest political dynasty isn’t popular in the whole country. ORTEGA of La Union, LIM of Manila, RAMA of Cebu/Davao, CONTRERAS of Oriental Mindoro, PAGUIO-PIZARRO of Bataan and UY of Compastella/Isabela/ Zamboanga del Norte Dynasty leads the pack.

Here’s a comparison between the ORTEGA versus the well-known, AQUINO. There are at least 17 Aquino Relatives who took power at a national post over the latter yet little did we know that ORTEGA has more influence in their Major Local Jurisdiction of La Union.

Political Dynasties running at a Regional than National Post is further supported below as at least 69% Regional Position makes up the total population of Political Dynasties.

Families Who Earned the Most in Politics

We're all inspired to serve': Pia Cayetano denies political ...
Cayetano Family Campaign during the 2016 National Elections.

Politics is one of the high-earning positions in the Philippines as big responsibilities tend to require big payment. This section features on which family received our taxes the most.

Graph Shown Above is the Families with a Net Salary Earning from Different Terms and Positions.

The CAYETANO Family earned the most in Politics. In a whopping 28 Years of Political Service, this family’s accumulated total earnings from government salary grade was at PHP 481 Million, the highest in 21st Century Era of Politicians. Their family had 6 relatives in power spanning across the Senate, Congress and LGU’s with multiple tenures in different terms.

While it only took the CAYETANO Family 28 Years to get this amount of salary, the GARCIA Family had 77 Years to earn PHP 435 Million. Even though there’s a 49-year gap in service, the CAYETANO was still able to earn more on a short amount of time.

And to further drill down the data to the top 5 families with biggest earnings in less than 50 years, you’d be surprised that the DUTERTE, CAYETANO and GORDON Family earned more than the AQUINO Family in less than 33 years, a 12-year gap with the longest dynasty in power.

21st Century Politicians Who Earned the Most

Though the Cayetano Family dominated the Total Earnings in Politics, there are two notable politicians who earned the most in this area.

President Joseph Ejercito-Estrada | (Photo taken from Joseph… | Flickr
13th President of the 5th Republic of the Philippines.

Surprisingly, former Philippine President Joseph Ejercito Estrada earned the most in Politics. He was a Mayor of San Juan for 17 Years, Vice-President and President of the Philippines and was a recent Mayor of the Philippine Capital, only losing to Current Mayor “Isko” Moreno.

His total earnings from the salary grade matrix would account to PHP 365 Million in 32 years of politics, the highest in the Philippines.

Philippine Embassy – Tokyo, Japan | President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
16th President of the 5th Republic of the Philippines.

Having an almost identical political history with Estrada, the current Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte was a former Mayor and Vice-Mayor of Davao City for 21 Years, and a member of the House of Representative.

His total earnings from 32 years of politics would account at PHP 342 Million, a 23 Million difference from Estrada.

Nonetheless, here’s the full data of the Accumulated Estimated Net Salary of Individual Politicians of the 21st Century.

Influential Families Who Shaped Contemporary Philippine Laws

Benigno Aquino Sr, Benigno Aquino Jr., Benigno Aquino III, former Senators of the Philippines in three generations.

The Legislative Branch is the sole department which create and amend laws as defined by our constitution. But do we know which family dominates both the Upper and Lower House?

The data shown above is the population per family who sat at the Upper and Lower House. Evidently, most dynasties tend to run at the Congress rather than the Senate (This is an obvious move since there are more seats given to the lower house than the 24-seat upper house). Despite the said trend, the AQUINOS of Tarlac consistently poured in relatives both in Senate and Congress making them the most influential family in the Legislative Branch. In fact, the current 1987 Constitution was commissioned during the tenure of President Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino.

Other notable influential families in the legislative branch includes the Cojuangco, Espinoza-Martinez, Garcia, Arroyo, Magsaysay, Marcos, Sumulong, Teves-Pinili and Aguilar-Villar.

There are ten families who heavily influenced the Senate throughout the history. As expected Aquino of Tarlac leads the pack, then Cayetano, Marcos and Revilla shares the same level of influence in the Senate. A trio ally by Cayetano, Marcos and Revilla can easily overthrow the Aquino in the Senate.

If Every Political Dynasty Had a Legislative Seat at the Same Time

It would look like this..

It’s no surprise that Aquino-Cojuangco family dominated the law-making branch of the Philippines. Other notable names to mention are the Espinosa-Martinez, Marcos, Magsaysay, Sumulong and Cayetano Family.


Most Political Dynasty in Regional Post: Ortega of La Union

Family Dynasty who earned the most in Politics: Cayetano of Muntinlupa, Pateros and Taguig

21st Century Politicians Who Earned the Most: Joseph Ejercito Estrada of San Juan

Influential Family Who Shaped Contemporary Philippine Laws: Aquino of Tarlac

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Tristan Gabriel Bal

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