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Top 10 High Profile Clans in Philippine Politics lists 10 political clans who dominate today’s headlines.

by Published on: Sep 13, 2010 - 3:00pm

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Filipinos are known for their close relationship with their families. Such is the familial love in Philippine society that some clans have made politics their family’s line of work. lists (in no particular order) 10 political clans who are in the news today--be it for the good that they do or because people get spooked by the mere mention of their family name. Either way, they’re proof that politics has, at times, become thicker than blood in the Philippines.

The Aquinos have branched out of Tarlac to the whole country.


Clan history: The Aquino clan’s turf is Tarlac. Their involvement in Philippine politics dates back to the Spanish era, when General Servillano Aquino, the patriarch, served as a delegate in the Malolos Congress, which drafted the country’s first ever Constitution sometime after we were liberated from Spain in 1898. Today, the Aquinos still hold powerful positions in the country’s political scene, with its fourth generation member, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, serving as the 15th Philippine president.

Power positions: Three generations of Aquinos, all named Benigno, have walked the halls of the Philippine Senate. Benigno Sr. served as senator from 1919 to 1934, while his son, Benigno "Ninoy" Jr., was a senator from 1967 to 1972. Noynoy also served a single term as senator from 2007 to 2010 before he was elected president. Ninoy’s brother Agapito "Butz" Aquino was a senator from 1987 to 1995 and his sister, Teresa Aquino-Oreta, was in the Senate from 1998 to 2004.

Family frontrunner: With over 15 million votes during the last elections, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, the 15th Philippine president, is undoubtedly the "hottest" Aquino of the moment (although sister Kris and even nephew Baby James steals the thunder from him once in a while).


Have the Cojuangcos buried the hatchet?


Clan history: The Cojuangcos are known landowners in Tarlac. The clan patriarch, Melecio, became the first representative of the province’s first district from 1907 to 1909. Jose Sr., one of Melecio's sons, acquired the controversial Hacienda Luisita back in 1957. Through marriage of a third generation Cojuangco, Corazon, and Benigno Aquino Jr., the two most powerful clans in Tarlac forged a connection that dominates the province up to the present.

Power positions: The congressional seat for the first district in Tarlac has been transferred from one Cojuangco to another from 1961 to the present. Some of the well-known Cojuangcos who have occupied this post are influential business tycoon Eduardo "Danding" Jr., presidential candidate Gilberto Jr., and his wife, former commercial model Monica "Nikki" Prieto-Teodoro. Through a popular mass uprising in 1986, however, the Cojuangco political influence reached Malacanang through Corazon Aquino, who would later be known as a global democracy icon.

Family frontrunner: She might have passed away a year ago, but former President Cory is still every Filipino’s favorite Cojuangco. Her posthumous political clout certainly helped her son’s presidential bid. Meanwhile, her cousin Danding is still known as a kingmaker.

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