Many people seem to think that all it takes to set up a political dynasty is for daddy or mommy warlord to snap their fingers and a family member -- with absolutely no qualification or experience -- immediately, successfully, runs for councilor or mayor or congressman or senator or president.
This is a misconception. There's a lot more to it than that. To start with, do you think it's easy for a family to consciously decide to perpetuate its iron, ruthless grip on power and continue to leech and amass unheard of amounts of public money and wealth while putting itself above the law and using its power to punish its enemies and reward its cronies?
OK, granted, it's an easy peasy decision. But still!
Handing down a public office to a successor belonging to the same clan involves strict quality control. The spouses, children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, god children, step children, bastard kids, mistresses and pet dogs of political clans have to undergo strict vetting. In the case of the pet dogs, this is literal.
For instance, did you know that before he even ran for Congress way back when, Noynoy Aquino was given a test by his mom Cory, who asked him to answer a list of questions in order to see if he was ready for public office? True story. Actually, every political family administers tests to their political heirs. Think of it as something like the UP College Admission Test, only without the UP, the college and the admission -- and also, the examinees always pass.
Based on the great investigative reporting technique called "staring long enough at the computer monitor until spots appear in our eyes," we have managed to reconstruct the following typical questionnaire for aspiring political dynasts:
Political dynasty exam
1. You are running for office because
a) of sense of duty
b) you just feel like it
c) daddy told you to do so
2. What is the best policy?
c) Honest smuggling
d) Honest smuggling with jueteng on the side
3. Are you really my child? (mandatory in the Revilla family)
4. Have you packed up your toys? (this is Cory Aquino's favorite)
5. Did you drink your milk?
6. Have you shut down your aircon?
7. All 200 of them?
8. Did you shut down the generator as well?
9. And the power plant?
10. How did you spend your allowance this week? Round off to the nearest million
11. Have you paid off the family's debts?
12. Including the one for building the house?
13. Eh yung kahoy?
14. For Marcoses, pick one: "Martial Law...
a) Never happened
b) Was a wonderful time for everyone
c) Is worth fighting for
15. When you campaign for office, the best strategy is to
a) Explain your platform
b) Give iPads
c) Dance Gangnam style
d) Give iPads while dancing Gangnam style
16. Complete the phrase: "Room nurses...
a) "there's no such thing"
b) "the best"
c) "they're going to sink my campaign"
17. Are you sure you didn't shoot that young man?
a) honest and true?
c) OK you can run