Friday, November 21, 2008



by Erick San Juan

Some political leaders ought to learn a number of lessons from the coup that brought down rug-to-riches realtor Manny Villar from the Presidency of the Philippine Senate.

Trusting politicians may be one of them.

Like the popular adage, that goes like being able to fool some of the people some of the time and most of the people most of the time, we can be very sure, karma is bound to catch up on he who would dare pull a fast one. Like Malacanang Palace, the Senate is now considered a snake pit due to ambition and hidden agenda.

For the deposed Senate President, it may be too late now for him to realize that paddling the same canoe on two separate rivers all at the same time, is an impossibility. In politics, one has to be either a conservative, or a liberal. Staying at the middle is never an option. In essence, one can never be at peace when he “sleeps with his enemy.”

For the tenants of Malacanang, they must now wake up to the reality that getting their pie and eat it, can prove to be very difficult. They must learn earlier on that in politics, there are no permanent allies – only personal interests. Malacanang can not just cause the yanking out of one they consider as an enemy, only to deliver his turf to one whose interest they can not be so sure about.

Certainly, the veteran strong-willed politician in newly installed Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who is in his twilight years and is not growing any younger, is expected to be more concerned about leaving behind a legacy for the next generation to emulate. It would not come as a surprise if Enrile will just remain as a statesman and a patriot. He is bound to keep the Senate as an institution independent of Malacanang – one that he will steer with only the national interest foremost in his heart and mind.

In short, by relegating Villar to the ranks of the new opposition and ruining his chances of perhaps becoming the President should Ms. Arroyo finally end her term, it does not necessarily follow that the Senate under Enrile would now be controlled by her allies.

Remember, that while Senate President Enrile admits openly that he is a staunch advocate of introducing some amendments to the Philippines Constitution of 1987, most of his colleagues who installed him to his current post are the same solons rabidly opposing all and every attempts to introduce changes to the Charter – especially those that could extend her term.

Like Senator Francis Escudero, many Filipinos are convinced that some egg-heads in Malacanang have yet to junk their obsession to continue wielding the same, if not more powers under an extended Arroyo administration. But they were simply “testing the water” and they may have “commissioned” Press Secretary Jesus G. Dureza to recite his controversial invocation at the opening of the recent Cabinet meeting in Malacanang.

However, it appears that while President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo may have been kept out of the plot, but almost certainly, her band of mischievous tinkers knew all along what they were doing. They were simply trying to prolong to the hilt, the intensity of the heat that the Senate coup has generated.

It is most likely that palace propaganda tacticians are trying to regroup and need to assess their next moves, as a result of the repercussions brought about by the leadership turnover in the Upper Chamber.

While it is more likely that the palace could have in fact, given its imprimatur to the “troop movements in the Senate,” they never realized that by replacing then Senate President Manny Villar, they failed to anticipate the scenario that could evolve once Enrile assumes the Senate Presidency.

Watch out for this. In the next few days, it would not be far-fetch that new palace-sponsored spins and maneuvers will take shape. We can only hope that whatever these may be, a bloody end must always be avoided, lest the Philippines will slip to deeper woes.

1 comment:

Digna said...

Can Senator Enrile be trusted to steer the Senate as an independent institution with the good of the great majority of Filipinos in mind? I don't know. All I know is that he was the architect of martial law to extend the rule of Pres. Marcos, he turned against Marcos resulting to 1986 "revolution", he tried to topple Pres. Aquino in a series of coup, and God knows his other participation against previous Presidents, and now an ally of the Arroyo administration.