The Duterte dynasty


In his State of the Nation Address 2020 on July 27, Rodrigo Duterte repeatedly lashed out at Sen. Franklin Drilon who challenged him to push for the implementation of the Anti-Dynasty Bill. Drilon proposed to ban dynasties in the reactionary government, extending the regulation up to the second degree of consanguinity and affinity. Duterte got extremely infuriated as he claimed that the senator said that the Duterte family is dynastic.

The Duterte family has now been in power for 74 years and three generations already. The Dutertes first entered politics in the 1946 when its patriarch, the late Atty. Vicente Duterte, was appointed as officer-in-charge mayor of Danao Cebu by the Osmeña regime. After relocating to Davao City in 1949, Vicente ran and was elected governor in 1959. During his term, in 1965, he appointed his own son, Rodrigo Duterte, as his Secretary of the Department of General Services. Vicente’s brother Ramon Duterte also became mayor of Cebu City in 1957. Ramon’s son Ronald succeeded him and became Cebu City mayor in 1986.

Rodrigo Duterte is a second generation dynast. He has held positions in government for 32 consecutive years already. Rodrigo Duterte was first appointed officer-in-charge vice mayor of Davao City by the Aquino regime in 1986. Bearing his father’s name, he ran and was elected mayor in 1988 and stayed in office until 1998. To circumvent the reactionary law on term limits, he ran as congressman of the First District of Davao City and won. He again ran for mayor in 2001 and remained in office until 2010, the year he ran as his daughter Sarah’s vice mayor, again to circumvent the aforementioned law. He again ran for mayor in 2013 and remained in office until his presidential bid was launched in 2016. During his long stint as mayor, he appointed his own brother Emmanuel as his personal secretary.

The local government of Davao City is currently dominated by his children. Duterte’s eldest son, Paolo, is its First District congressman, while his daughter Sarah is its mayor and youngest son Sebastian its vice mayor. Ultimately, Rodrigo Duterte wishes to perpetuate his cling to power or his annointed successor’s reign.

The Duterte dynasty