Relaxing moments in history?
After five years there had never been any barangay elections, to have one gives that feeling of people empowerment. In the higher scheme of things, it only signals the start of a recruitment process, with Malacanang, Inc. as a huge recruitment agency for patronizing new or old punong barangays and barangay kagawads throughout the archipelago. Truly, political power starts at the base of the pyramid.
Then again, after six years or so of imprisonment, former president Erap is granted executive clemency as a Thursday gift – irrespective of whether or not there was a request for pardon. The thought of his freedom is just about the greatest blessing that can descend to the consciousness of an ailing mother of one hundred and two. From every perspective, GMA is cast to have played the underdog. And such is part of our crippling Filipino mentality.
FVR remains a resident evil in RP’s realpolitik – with or without any official authority. And it is as if, he is the only one who can pull leverage or shield GMA from serious attacks. Inferential thinking tells us that, to some extent, FVR shares power with GMA, through his military clones placed in sensitive positions of government. After all, military power is always held supreme. Or what is that 100-day ultimatum given to lady Gloria?
Then there goes the CBCP and its vicious claim to the moral high ground. But who really understood any of those pastoral letters circulated in public? In not a single instance, had the pastoral letter cater to the IQ of the ordinary man in the street as not even the bishops in their own fold comprehend their true import. CBCP’s moral position coming always late, opens it to negotiation – or to the highest bidder, call it that. Who really cares about CBCP anyway?
Other more serious political developments or events become hidden from public view. The ABZTEFG, the impeachment move, the payolas in the House – all these really have to ‘back off’, matter-of-factly. The business of the day is the remaining years of GMA’s term as president. It must turn full circle – hassle-free.
If push turns to shove, Malacanang may have to dispense with JDV and the fund mess in the House that left no trace. Erap is left with no option but to accept a cabinet position patronizing of GMA even while the government sequesters most of his assets and earnings from you know where. Political realignment would turn into a myth as Erap’s perceived sphere of influence has just been skillfully ‘detonated’.
Trillanes, being in jail, remains a mere shadow. Proxy senator is simply no senator. In the end, it will be a total waste of government funds except if his entire annual P200-million appropriation be utilized to build the biggest jail yard the country will ever have. That would have been an unparalleled legacy from a young alumnus of PMA. Ironically, Gringo broke only a leg and played along the grain – a highly-paid recruit.
Vocal critics against GMA are on the silent mode. Cayetano and Escudero are chips that fall in place. In a game of bend or break, they, indicatively, are inherently bendable. Only Trillanes remains to be the young idealistic, principled, and true reformist of the pack. Others chose to run away as cowards – the likes of Samuel Ong, et al. Allan Paguia chose to be at a hitting distance – fragile but brave. Kit Tatad is always a mere antidote, antidotal no end.
Any form of power grab attempted at GMA is predictably anti-climactic. It holds no future. The remaining years of the Arroyo administration will usher in a smooth turn-over to the new Palace occupant come 2010. Paradoxically enough, we saw the make-over done to Joker Arroyo, Miriam Defensor Santiago, Gringo Honasan and others.
It is disheartening to realize that there is no one left to fight the status for its excesses, no advocacy group strong enough to yield powerful influence as to be able to tilt the balance of power to its side, no single individual that the Palace would heed – not a Velarde, not a Villanueva, not a Manalo.
As soon as the one-year ban has already expired, more sensitive positions in government will be occupied by the senatorial losers. It may be RP’s boon or bane. Either way it goes, the Filipino people will be its first casualties or beneficiaries. It then bears watching what doomsday scenario will soon unfold.
PRIMER C. PAGUNURAN
U.P. Diliman, Quezon City Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 09164985265