Why GMA needed Chavit as Deputy NSA
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2008-09-11

Something is not right with the appointment of Luis “Chavit” Singson as Deputy NSA (National Security Adviser).

No, it is not that Chavit is not qualified to be Deputy NSA, as Joseph “Erap” Estrada had alleged. Obviously, Estrada is sour grapes and still smarting from Chavit’s Juetengate Expose which led to his ouster.

Chavit has more qualifications to be NSA – not just Deputy NSA – than Estrada ever had to be Senator. And it further demeans the presidency to even consider that Estrada was qualified to be president. His track record, the economic downturn, the loss of confidence in the Philippine peso and stock market, the deplorable work ethic and so forth all underscore the disgrace that was the Joseph Estrada presidency.

Roy Golez, a competent former NSA, shares the view that Chavit is more than qualified to be NSA. In Mafia lingo, Chavit is what can be called a war time consigliore.

What does not seem right about Chavit’s appointment as Deputy NSA is the placement of someone who Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) owes a lot in a mere sub-cabinet position. Chavit deserves to be no less than a National Security Adviser.

GMA gave Tito Sotto and Ralph Recto top agency positions. Yet, these two are not owed by GMA even half of what she owes Chavit Singson. GMA owes her ascendancy to Chavit. Other than that, in Philippine traditional politics, nobody delivered an entire province better than Chavit Singson.

GMA, as you know, is addicted to the patronage game of traditional politics. She does not care much for what the people think so long as she retains the support and cooperation of the traditional politicians.

So, with all his political assets, how come Chavit only lands the Deputy post in an agency where he is more qualified than the present NSA? GMA may not exactly be known for her gratitude but one thing she is not is stupid.

There is something definitely bigger in this NSA appointment than what many are seeing or shall we say ‑ are failing to see. It has to do with the altered equation that is rooted to the US agenda in Mindanao that your Chair Wrecker has exposed in several columns.

With a superpower (the US) playing a major agenda in Mindanao, with GMA having failed to deliver on that US agenda with the scuttling of the MoA-AD and the abolition of the GRP – a National Security Adviser like Norberto Gonzales with suspected “closeness” to the US is the last thing that GMA needs.

If your memory is good, you will remember that NSA Bert Gonzales was grilled by the Senate for facilitating the funding by a US front organization – Venable – allegedly to revise the Constitution. Who can forget that banana eating episode and subsequent hospitalization of Gonzales? I can appreciate the rise in his blood pressure. Accepting foreign funds in order to alter the Constitution is a serious offense, treason some may want to call it.

The comments on ABS-CBN of NSA Bert Gonzales upon hearing the appointment of Chavit is quite revealing. He could only offer the remark that he will always follow the president. To me, the verbal and non-verbal language suggested reservations about the Chavit appointment.

Because of the US threat, GMA needed someone with her full trust and confidence, someone who she feels can stand up to the superpower pressure and not sell her down the river. Chavit enjoys that confidence.

In the superpower geopolitical game, you cannot wait for the usual verifications and confirmations. You have to be street smart and read the direction that the superpower is taking which is based on their greatest needs and imperial designs. To this day, it has not been verified if indeed the US blew up the Maine in order to establish cause for declaring war against Spain and grabbing Spanish territories which included the Philippines.

If you wait for the so-called evidence or proof, then you’ll likely end up like Ngo Ding Diem of South Vietnam and his corrupt wife – very dead. Ngo Ding Diem was receiving manifestations of support from the US up to the day he was ousted and killed in a largely suspected CIA-engineered coup.

Up to the morning of the day when he was ousted, the Reagan regime was still expressing support for Dictator Ferdinand Marcos. All that changed before 7 p.m. of February 25, 1986 when Marcos was told to “cut and cut clean.”

During the almost successful December 1, 1989 coup attempt against Cory Aquino, there were Americans sighted in the administration camp and that of the rebels. This much I was told by our then PSG. The rebels having failed to seize power within the first 12 hours of the coup, it was then that the US condemned the rebellion and sent those persuasion flights to force the rebel forces to stand down.

In the USIP Report (The Philippine Facilitation Project, 2003-2007), on page 13, second paragraph, it was stated: “Further, because of her political liabilities, she (GMA) has not obtained a critical mass of support from the military, the economic elites, and the larger public. Her flexibility to make decisions that work against the entrenched, parochial interests of some individuals and groups may be limited. Scandals have buffeted her family and she has spent much of her energy fending off impeachment attempts.”

That GMA has not obtained a critical mass of support from the military certainly refutes the regime’s proud boast that there is only an insignificant minority in the AFP that is against GMA.

Just imagine GMA’s nightmares these days. What happens if the US operatives decide to stir that agitated segment of the military against her? With that at the back of her mind, just how comfortable do you think GMA will be with the thought that her present NSA may be “too close” to the US?

To compound GMA’s woes, all this comes at a time when her satisfaction and trust ratings are at an all-time low. It will take very little to destabilize her.

In this context, we can appreciate better why Chavit was appointed Deputy NSA. Napoleon once said that where the enemy deploys his bigger force is where the enemy feels most vulnerable.

  Previous Columns:

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

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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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