“ALL SYSTEMS GO!”
There. No more room for ambiguity.
All along, the suspicion was that the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain President Arroyo was pushing with the rebel MILF group was in reality a ploy to revive Charter change where she could maneuver to stay in office beyond 2010. With Malacañang’s statement, at least that part about the Cha-cha is now confirmed. About the last part– the true intent– everything is yet on the level of speculation, to be fair.
The biggest irony of it all: the initiative on Charter change is being spearheaded by her opponents, specifically through Senate Resolution # 10 authored by opposition leader Senator Aquilino Pimentel himself. Now, Malacañang is saying “how come you accuse us of malice when the revival of Cha-cha is a pet initiative of Pimentel and not us”. Huh, how come, indeed? But do you hear someone telling: “It’s the last three minutes of the ballgame, my friend; if by folly, you pass to me the ball–why? dammit, I will fire away!” Of course!
Pimentel is assuring everyone who would care to listen to his advocacy on federalism, that the safeguards against insertions are neatly in place in his resolutions so we could rest easy. I don’t know; I am by character trusting, but GMA has proven herself to be too Machiavellian and cold-blooded when it comes to matters of this nature. Her prayerful poses and sometimes meek demeanor that ought reflect her religiousness– even these, it seems, have become part of her political repertoire, to give any comfort. In any case, it is useful to remember, it is not only the perks of power she is bound to lose come 2010; she made too many enemies along the way who will for certain strike back at her and her family in equal measure, when finally stripped of all immunities. Fear is a formidable motivation and GMA remains so far the grandmaster to beat in this game of brinkmanship this part of town. As for crafty legal advisers who could whip up a trick or two if need be, she sure has plenty on her beck and call. As for the Supreme Court, well, in so far as GMA’s political survival is concerned, when her back’s against the wall and cries for help, your guess is as good as mine where the wind will blow.
My favorite image of Senator Pimentel is one where he was holding the microphone to GMA as she was being sworn to office to replace President Estrada. Its metaphor escapes him completely. Earlier, as Estrada was battling his ouster from his post in an ugly power struggle, Pimentel, an Estrada ally, found himself in awkward company of the other side. Something in the air seems to portend a reprise of that odd role one more time. Now, if you know Senator Lacson and Senator Villar, who are with him on this one, you get that uneasy feeling where this will go.