Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Political Science

Subject Categories

Political Science


College of Liberal Arts


Political Science

Thesis Adviser

Cleo Anne A. Calimbahin

Defense Panel Chair

Ador Torneo

Defense Panel Member

Julio Teehankee
Gladstone Cuarteros


The prominence of political machines and the dominance of political families in Philippine electoral politics have continuously hindered party development in the country. Political machines, have proven to ensure electoral success, and as they become more organized, proto-parties are formed. In fact, in the advent of the current administration’s efforts to shift to federalism, some of these proto-parties actually transformed itself into full-blown regional political parties. While most proto-parties are built around strong political figures and political families, this study looked into the rise of a mass-based proto-party in Naga City.

Using qualitative research design, I investigated how a mass-based political group not tied to a political family formed and became a proto-party. I also looked into the factors that affected their electoral dominance. Findings of this study showed that Team Naga evolved as a proto-party in its attempt to secure its position of power in the city. One of the consequences of the failure of Philippine political parties to institutionalize is the rise and dominance of proto-parties, especially at the local level. The case of Team Naga is a variation of such phenomenon. Team Naga, in the absence of resources from a political family or a strong political figure, built and maintained a mass-based political machine banked on personal relationship in order to keep themselves in power. The case of Team Naga also showed that institutionalization is possible even at the pro-party level; dominance can be achieved with a well-maintained political machine. Maintenance of the machine can be done differently, too, that is, through the use of programmatic distribution to the support base. Moreover, Team Naga’s branding as a team of people offering alternative politics in the city give no hope for positive party development as all efforts are merely towards electoral success and not towards institution (re)building. Recommendations for further studies were discussed.

Abstract Format






Accession Number



Naga City (Camarines Sur : Philippines)—Politics and government; Political parties—Philippines—Naga City (Camarines Sur); Nepotism—Philippines—Naga City (Camarines Sur)

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