There are a few signs of the GMA castle showing cracks.
First, we have a hitherto staunch ally Albay Governor Salceda with the now famous “lucky …..” goof (?). Then we have former President Ramos pointedly referring to “greed, apathy, and corruption” in the present government during the Libingan ng mga Bayani wreath-laying. He hints that another people power may have to occur to correct the situation. In the same affair, in a statement read for him, AFP Chief of Staff General Esperon reiterated the military’s current apolitical stand, pointedly reminding civil society that it has the responsibility for people power. Before this, we had the notable statement from Vice-President de Castro recognizing the Senate ZTE-NBN hearing and even admiring Jun Lozada’s courage.
The touted Lakas-Kampi merger has been quietly put aside as Lakas consolidates itself, without pro-Kampi elements. Members of the ruling coalition are desperately assessing the direction of the political wind as overtures for snap elections and other solutions are bandied about.
Within the Malacañang fortress, there are rumors of the heightening suspicions among the key players–with the First Couple directly handling all tactical decisions, trusting no one. Whispers of last-ditch plans for a “palace coup” keep on leaking out as well as the opening of succession negotiations with the vice-president. The FG unscheduled trip to Hongkong is being interpreted as either a cover-up for a major palace counter-offensive this week or the preparation for the GMA exile to Spain.
GMA’s admission of knowing the ZTE-NBN contract problems is reminiscent of her famous “I’m sorry” speech. It may have been directed to the bishops but it only added more fuel to the fire of disenchantment with her regime. It may be the last argument to convince the fence-sitters.
Certainly, all news about the president is about her steadfastness (some say her stubbornness, others say her desperation). What is clear is that, under the pressure of a relentless buildup of political pressure fanned by a nationwide people power movement, the GMA castle is showing the cracks. It may be a prelude to its crumbling–only desperate options are left and these may not come to pass.