cacique democracy in the philippines origins and dreams n.
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Cacique democracy in the philippines : origins and dreams . Benedict Anderson Lili Reyes. CACIQUE . -co suffix Originated from the Hokkienese k’o  Term of respect for older males

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  • -co suffix
    • Originated from the Hokkienesek’o Term of respect for older males
    • These are the families who originated among the Chinese mestizos who bloomed economically under the Spanish colonial regime and consolidated their wealth with political power under the Americans
spanish colonialism

1560s:Manila became the entrepot for the galleon trade, by which Chinese silks and porcelains were exchanged for Mexican silver, to be resold, at colossal profit across the Pacific and eventually in Europe

  • One needed to be in Manila so that there will be connections and relationships with the Chinese traders and artisans who flocked the entrepot

Spanish power in the country was mediated through the Church

  • Features of Clerical Dominion
    • Animism to Christianity
    • Mid-18th century: Commercial Agriculture  Carlos III and Jose Basco y Vargas were the pioneers of the creation of haciendas

1834: Manila was opened to international trade which was followed by Cebu and other ports

    • British and American Trading Houses saw the possibilities in full scale commercialization of Philippine agriculture and it provided the capital and commercial outlets to permit the mestizos to become real hacendados
growth of national sentiment
  • Those who were from the rich family were educated and had the privilege to study in Europe
    • Ilustrados in 1880s, they created the real intelligentsia and began a cultural assault on benighted clericalism and Spanish domination
    • Katipuneros  mobilized the indio masses to revolt against the Spaniards
us colonization and national oligarchy
  • US colonization changed
    • Ensured political unification of the Philippines (Mindanao was subjected to Manila)
    • Improvement of economic position of Mestizos
    • Political innovations of Americans that created solid and visible national oligarchy
      • Seats in Congress
      • Economic Base: Hacienda Agriculture
      • Provincial Fiefdoms were protected

US colonization  influence on oligarchic rule

    • 1903: Filipinos held just under half of the 5,500 positions in the civil service.
    • 1921: method of Filipinizing  rose to 90%
    • 1930: US held only 1% of the post in civil service
  • The oligarchies quickly learned how the Congressional system could increase their power

Absence of autocratic territorial bureaucracy since there was a huge proliferation of provincial and local elective offices  emergence of political dynasties

  • After 1930: Washington imposed independence, thus the caciques were not in favor. This will threaten their access to the American market
japanese occupation
  • Japan struck the Philippines and the Americans left the country. The oligarchs collaborated with the invaders. But this act was not enough to save the hacienda-based export economy
    • Rule of Law broke down as anti-Japanese guerilla bands expanded in the remote rural areas
    • Tenants and landless laborers squat on hacienda lands and grow crops for survival
    • Many refused to pay rents and had insolence to threaten bailiffs who demanded them
    • Peasants joined the Hukbalahap

Aim of US:

    • Tydings Rehabilitation Act – offer of $620M to US and Filipinos who could demonstrate that they lost a minimum of $500 as a result of the war
    • Restore fully the pre-war agrarian and political order
heyday of cacique democracy
  • It was in the last ear of Roxas’s life that the Philippines saw the first conspicuous appearance of the country’s private armies
    • WARLORD  from Manila and countryside, their aim was to restore the uncontested cacique rule
    • They were also seen in electoral politics
  • Col. Edward Lansdale was dispatched to restore order through the agency of Defence. In 1954, Huk rebellion had been crushed and thousands of peasants from Luzon transmigrated to Mindanao and Magsaysay became President

1954-1972: Full heyday of cacique democracy in the Philippines

    • The oligarchy faced no serious domestic challeges
    • At the end of 1960, cacique democracy vanished (p.340)
  • Cacique democracy led to secular changes in the operation of the political system
    • Manila: seat of power, Congress, universities and institutions
    • The move to Manila  monetarize political life

Marcos: Master Cacique/Master Warlord

    • Cronies, hitmen and flunkies
    • Understood that wealth serves power and the key card is the state
    • Exploited the state
    • Dealt with the Americans and fellow oligarchs
    • Used his plenary Martial Law powers to advise all oligarchs who dreamt of opposing/supplanting him that property was not power since at a stroke of the martial pen it ceased to be property (ex. Lopez: ABS-CBN was closed, Hacienda Osmena was put up for land reform)
    • Those who were pro-Marcos were left undisturbed
people power revolution
  • Topple down the dictatorship
  • Restoration of democracy
  • Restoration of open-market press
  • Crumbling of the crony monopsonies and monopolies filled the various sectors of the middle class
    • Aquino was an elite restorationist, since she was able to rebuild the elite-dominated democratic structures weakened by authoritarian Ferdinand Marcos during her 1986-1992 administration.
cacique claim their own
  • May 1987:
    • 130 won the seat in Congress from traditional political families
    • 39 are relatives of these families
    • 31 had no electoral record and not related to these families
    • Of the 24 senators, few were non-traditional figures but majority were from the pre-1972 political families
politics in a well run casino
  • Each local triumph for reform promises a rentier future
    • American electoralism is still powerful. Anyone can get elected
  • Our political maturity can be said to have not improved much.
    • This can be explained by how colonial and local influences have molded the power structure in the country based on the colonial and indigenous systems that persisted over time.
    • Throughout the periods in which the examination ran from the Spanish Colonization to the Revolutionary Government to American Era to the Commonwealth Period to the Japanese Invasion to the Postwar Republic to the Marcos Dictatorship to the EDSA Redemocratization, there has been a characteristic power structure inequality in the political process.
      • This inequality has upheld the interests of the elite. Based on the tradition of ownership and accumulation of land, the patterns of inequality harked back during the Spanish colonial period when the principalia class dominated the control and concentration over farmlands. In addition, the right to suffrage limited to the literate and landed classes historically assured the elite domination of electoral office. With the emergence of urban economies, patronage systems have decreased but elites now resort to other means like force to secure their position.The consolidation of a national oligarchy in the government continues to create a perfect adaptation of the ambitions of the mestizo nouveau riche in the legislative and executive systems. If before, these caciques enjoyed control only of their respective local political fiefdoms, now they enjoyed national-level access and exposure.
      • This is most evident with the creation of political dynasties across the archipelago, with family members holding key political positions in their bailiwick areas of responsibility. Thinking of their relative predecessors’ electoral posts as political inheritance, they deepen their consciousness as a ruling class. As they exploit the opportunities presented to them by their privileged position, their relationship with the country gets defined as cacique parasitical.