Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Joint session highlights dynasties in Congress

December 09, 2009 20:53:00
Leila Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Original Story:

MANILA, Philippines—The calling of the roll at the start of the joint session of Congress to review the President’s imposition of martial law in Maguindanao underscored how several families have managed to dominate Philippine politics.

Familiar names were repeated as the secretary generals of the Senate and the House of Representatives went through the list of their members.

The attendance for each chamber was checked separately. Eighteen senators were present when the roll was called. As for the House, 192 members answered the roll-call.

The relatives of President Macapagal-Arroyo led clans holding more than one seat in the legislature. Four out of five Arroyos were her relatives—her two sons, Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado Arroyo and Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo, and her brother- and sister-in-law, Negros Occidental Rep. Iggy Arroyo and Kasangga party list Rep. Lourdes Arroyo.

A fifth Arroyo, Sen. Joker Arroyo, is not related to them.

The Defensors were well represented as well. There were Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago and her cousins, Quezon City Rep. Matias Defensor and Iloilo Rep. Arthur Defensor. Sen. Santiago's son, Alliance of People's Concerns Rep. Narciso Santiago III, is also a member of the House.

There are also three Cayetanos in Congress: the brother-and-sister tandem in the Senate, Pia and Alan Peter Cayetano, and the latter's wife, Taguig Rep. Ma. Laarni Cayetano in the House.

The Villars have Sen. Manuel Villar and Las PiƱas Rep. Cynthia Villar.

Two Zubiris were likewise called: Sen. Miguel Zubiri and his brother, Bukidnon Rep. Jose Ma. Zubiri III.

The Biazons have Sen. Rodolfo Biazon and Muntinlupa Rep. Rozzano Rufino Biazon, while the Angaras have Sen. Edgardo Angara and Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile's daughter-in-law, Cagayan Rep. Salvacion Ponce Enrile, is a lawmaker herself.

Sen. Francis Escudero and his father, Sorsogon Rep. Salvador Escudero, are both legislators as well.

The Ortegas have La Union Rep. Victor Ortega and his nephew, Abono party-list Rep. Francisco Emmanuel Ortega.

Not all of the members of these seeming dynasties were present during the joint session.

Original Story:

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