Here we go again. Talks of coups, of counter-coups, of destabilization, and of stronger regime are again with us. Some would say, it’s because of the political season. The period between the two EDSAs–from January 16 to February 25–has been dubbed by some wits as the “extra-constitutional season.”
Is there or isn’t there a destabilization attempt? The police has just arrested six alleged plotters, freed two, and admitted to a hidden arrestee. Justice Secretary Gonzales, pointed to Jan. 22 as the D-Day, complete with an extreme Left rally and rightist military coup attempt. I would not be surprised if the ones arrested are linked to this “attempt” and that more stories will come out in the next few days or weeks.
Some accuse the military (or Malacañang) of orchestrating the whole thing to justify an extension of the term of office as AFP chief of staff of General Hermogenes Esperon. It seems strange that all the talk about destabilization now come out of the mouths of Malacañang people. It is even stranger that many in the opposition are denying it.
On second thoughts, it is not so strange when seen within the context of the narrowing window for the option of a GMA continued stay in power. It is not so strange when there is a desperate scramble to justify charter change on whatever ground (negotiations with MILF, federalism, abolition of the Comelec, etc.)
Charter change–in these end-game times–requires extraordinary measures in order to neutralize the overwhelming public opposition to a GMA charter change. The 2006 Cha-cha debacles are still fresh in the minds of both proponents and oppositors.
President Macapagal-Arroyo should stop all these political maneuvers by her subordinates to maintain her in power after 2010. It only make more difficult for her to concentrate on a legacy agenda and for her coalition to maintain its unity. One can discern already the separation of interests between her and some of her advisers.
Destabilization in these times of transition and realignment threatens both from the inside and from the outside.