The Batasan bombing, the Dalaig assassination, the Glorietta incident. Are they mere coincidences of unrelated events or are they part of a subtle political strategy directed towards a particular objective(s)?
The various reactions so far that came out range from airy dismissal as coincidental, unrelated (Malacañang) to a dark US-inspired conspiracy (CPP). There are a lot of other theories in between but what is striking in all these other speculations is the disbelief of official police pronouncements.
Maybe it is just the generally low level of credibility of the Macapagal-Arroyo’s government, but there is the disquieting real political context that these events are being tested within. This context includes the pressure on the GMA people to ensure their political survival in the face of the 2010 end of her term, the creeping doom of a lameduck presidency, the uncertain health of key administration figures, the failure to make headway with any agreement with the opposition or with the presidentiables, the renewed efforts by varied groups of the opposition to get her out of power, and the unchanging negative public opinion.
At the moment, the political situation points to the imperative on the president to make a decisive decision soon on which path she will take to ensure her own survival beyond 2010. The name of the game right now is called “transition management.”
She does not have much time left for her to decide (and make this public) since all the options require long and difficult preparations. All the interested political actors–within and outside her ruling coalition, local as well as foreign–know this. All are exerting pressure to push their own agenda and–the jackpot–to be the one to manage the transition.
Of course, GMA may not really leave the scene–witness her pronouncements on a charter change initiative. There are some in her coalition who wants to use the charter change to extend her term in power (and their own) and they are moving heaven and civil society to make this happen.
However, the chances for this are slim, unless her administration scatters the opposition and unleashes white terror on civil society. The desperate temptation to declare martial law or a state of emergency stem from the reality of a people’s resistance to charter change under GMA’s tutelage.
It is a coincidence that dramatic events such as the Batasan bombing, the Dalaig assassination, or the Glorietta incident occur one after the other in this moment of political conjuncture. Still-unfolding events will show whether these are real coincidences or planned moves in a game of political strategy.