Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago lists traits of a corrupt politician

For your consideration

The Philippine Star reported on Thursday that Senator Miriam Defensor wants to help the public decide on a candidate to vote for by listing the traits of a corrupt politician. Among them, as written in the article by Louis Bacani, are the following:


  • Machiavellianism, which refers to a mind-set characterized by manipulation and the need for power;
  • Narcissism, which refers to an inflated sense of self-importance and grandiosity;
  • Subclinical psychopathy, which results from an aggregate of maladaptive trait deficits linked to anti[-]social deviance; and
  • Weak moral identity and primitive moral thinking as exhibited by the candidate who values personal loyalty over formal rules and does not distinguish between organizational and personal goals.


If subclinical psychopathy is too big to swallow, it’s someone with an amoral character who doesn’t exhibit symptoms of an actual psychopath. It refers to anti-social behavior, as opposed to non-social behavior. The latter refers to being unconcerned for society or social matters, while the former refers to the lack of regard for other people’s rights and well-being.


Senator Santiago added that politicians prone to plunder will exhibit "future orientation, power distance, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance and social dominance orientation." She said, "Sometimes this person commits an act of corruption by morally disengaging himself from the corruption by justifying the act using palliative comparisons. For example, the person linked to plunder will continue to receive kickbacks, on the reasoning that the kickback is very little compared with earnings of a convicted plunderer."


Senator Santiago’s speech on the psychology of plunder was given at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.



For more on this story, log on to

Recommended Videos
Share this story with your friends!

Help us make better!
Take the short survey

Read more stories about

Latest Stories

Load More Stories