May 27, 2010
Fearless Forecast: A Shaky Aquino Presidency Seen in the Philippines
Los Angeles- Despite the election of Benigno Aquino III as the presumptive president of the Philippines, the political scene in the Philippines for the next six years is far from being an orderly and a stable nation.
While Aquino got the executive post, the legislative and the judicial positions including the Supreme Court are his problems as well as the control of regional, provincial and mayoral positions that are in the control of his perceived enemies.
In Congress, at the house of representatives, LP bet for Speaker , Quezon City Mayor Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte is confident of becoming Speaker. He said that he would get the support of not only some 30 Lakas “originals” but also of party-list, Nacionalista Party (NP) and Nationalist People’s Coalition contingents in the House. The LP has only 37 elected members.
Belmonte said he had even talked to the NP president, Sen. Manuel Villar, who organized a meeting for him with NP congressmen. The Nacionalista Party has 23 lawmakers in the House, while the Nationalist People’s Coalition has around 30, he said.
He said that he also recently talked with 10 congressmen—“independents and some Erap [former President Joseph Estrada] boys—in San Juan.
Aquino vs. Arroyo’s power group
The ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD party is also consolidating its forces and has floated the idea of pushing Ms Arroyo, who won a congressional seat in Pampanga, to run for Speaker.
In the battle for the speakership, Belmonte considers Ms Arroyo a strong but not an invincible opponent.
The Nacionalista Party has 12 senators in the Senate while the LP has only 4 senators. Villar and Angara are poised to be elected as senate president on the Senate opening on June 30, 2010.
The problem is much grave in the local situation with the LP losing many key strong provincial post like that of Pampanga and Isabela. The LP may be strong at the executive branch but he is not strong in the localities where a lot of wheeling and dealing is done.
LP won Batangas with Vilma Santos-Recto and the prime cities of Manila and Quezon City while San Juan is still with the Estrada’s and Las Pinas with the Villar group. The LP lost Quezon, Pampanga and Isabela while Cebu and the ARMM with Maguindanao safe at the LAKAS-KAPI camp.
Aquino will be preoccupied with dispensing favors and cajoling the local warlord to line-up with his group as Arroyo was able to control the local warlord for the last nine years of her autocratic rule.
The Military Question
Meanwhile, as the AFP is solidly behind Arroyo with General Bangit at its helm, the national police is behind the new president. General Versoza of the PMA Class 1976 which is at odds with the Class 1978 identified with GMA and her clique.
Arroyo was able to control the AFP by appointing 11 generals as Chief of Staff in succession in her nine years in power. A game of musical chairs. After serving their tenure she dispense favors by appointing them to juicy positions, both in her cabinet, government corporations or in foreign affairs to keep their loyalty.
And with the US giving it blessing to the new president, it is worthwhile to watch the coming changes in the military. The US has a total control over the AFP and the PNP.
In the less than 63 years as a republic, the military can make or unmake the presidency as seen with the 1986 EDSA revolution and the 2001 2nd EDSA uprising.
President Cory Aquino. the news president mother, survived seven coup tries in her six years as president from 1986-1992 while GMA survived three coup tries in her nine years in power.