A deeply deluded Opposition
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2008-03-06
Those in the Opposition who think that allowing Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) to stay on until 2010 (unless otherwise ousted by extra constitutional means) just to stop Vice President Noli de Castro from fulfilling his constitutional role — are deluded.

They betray their driving passion to take over power (and not to curb corruption or improve governance). They fail to realize that most Filipinos want a succession through a familiar constitutional process. They simply cannot accept the fact that the nation has not responded to their previous attempts to mount People Power simply because the people do not exactly relish the thought of seeing them in power.

The present expression of outrage was brought about by a non-politician — Jun Lozada — who many Filipinos have taken as one of their own. Note how Lozada received the biggest ovation and the most animated reactions from that mammoth crowd at the February 29 Interfaith Rally in Makati. In contrast, Joseph Estrada’s presence on stage triggered a walkout. Those people who walked out made a political statement with their feet.

Kabayan Noli is not my idea of the reformist president that our country needs at this time. But I just have to respect the 1987 Constitution that I myself labored to promote. I spearheaded the media campaign to secure a YES vote for the 1987 Constitution.

I also don’t think that Noli de Castro cheated to win as Vice President although I cannot say the same in the case of GMA.

Loren Legarda has been riding on the Garci Tapes to promote the idea that she beat Noli. From where I sit wrecking another chair, that is pure rubbish. Loren lost her middle class support after joining Fernando Poe Jr. and she could never beat Noli for the masa votes. That is the long and short of the 2004 VP race.

Fighting Noli de Castro as a sitting president in 2010 is better for the Opposition than risking that GMA will agree to step down in 2010. A fight with Noli is a predictable electoral contest while there is no saying what GMA will do between now and 2010 just to stay on.

Few are aware that there are already plans to dance the Chacha (Charter change) in order to pave the way for GMA Part III. This Chacha plan was one of the main reasons for removing Joe de Venecia (JDV) as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The ouster of JDV was a Palace strategy that conveniently accomplished three objectives:

1. First, it exacted revenge on the father of the person responsible for exposing the ZTE scandal.

2. Second, it reduced Lakas-CMD to manageable size and elevates Kampi as the dominant administration party.

3. Third, it replaced JDV with a more compliant Speaker who will be able to push GMA’s Charter change (Chacha) via the Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) route. JDV favored Charter change to achieve his own ends. But now they want a Charter change via Con-Ass for the sole purpose of meeting GMA’s political agenda.

The obsequiously loyal congressmen who played major roles in JDV’s ouster would easily make Con-Ass attainable. No one will ever find a canine kennel with a more servile pack of lap dogs than these. They have been so conditioned by cash gifts in dainty bags and pork barrel enticements that they will actually slurp their master’s bovine ordure just to continue having more pork and perks.

But how can they have a Con-Ass when the Senate is unwilling to participate?

Manny Villar’s election as Senate President is partly owed to the support of the administration Senators. Without the administration Senators, Manny Villar is kaput.

The presidential ambitions of Senators Mar Roxas, Panfilo Lacson and Loren Legarda created the situation that allows the administration to dictate who sits as Senate President. In their desire to erode Villar’s advantage as a presidential contender, they now allow the administration to maneuver and install their own puppet as Senate President.

I’ve warned the Nacionalistas of Manny Villar and the Liberals of Mar Roxas that the way these two are getting at each other’s throats will make it easier for GMA to rule beyond 2010.

Villar and Roxas hold the key to Opposition victory in 2010. United, they will be formidable, especially with Joseph Estrada bringing his 30% or so loyal masa to them. Fighting each other, especially with Lacson determined to run again in 2010, they will splinter the Opposition base of around 60% (as seen in the 2007 Senate vote).

I am sure that GMA has contingency plans to secure her flank beyond 2010 just in case Con-Ass is derailed anew. I’ve mentioned in past columns that if Kampi and Lakas-CMD unite behind an attractive candidate in 2010, they can win if the Opposition foolishly fields two or more candidates.

The Opposition had better get its act together or get hanged separately.

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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