After the key power institutions failed to act decisively on the current political crisis, it has become a race to gather or prevent the critical mass necessary for forcing GMA to resign. The latter is a position already adopted by a critical mass of the people, as far as public opinion is concerned. The challenge is in turning this opinion into a critical mass for action in the coming weeks and months.
The GMA administration uses all the political tricks to ensure that this does not happen. Foremost in this counter-offensive is the frenzied attempt to denigrate the person and testimony of Jun Lozada. The Palace knows that he was the decisive factor that shocked the middle class and forced the people out of their apathy–especially the youth and students. A media campaign has been launched against him, cases are being prepared to pin him down, access to him by the people in schools and the provinces are being sabotaged, and his family and circles are being put under pressure. Veiled and actual threats are being made to silence him.
The administration also tries to consolidate its own forces–the ruling coalition, the Cabinet, and in the armed forces. It has also conducted various types of appeasement moves with regards the CBCP, media, business, and the Senate. It is also in the process of organizing a pro-GMA “mass movement” using its LGU network. It is also expected to introduce “red herrings” and obfuscating issues–to distract the opposition and the people from the logical path of seeking the truth about the primary scandal that is the ZTE-NBN and addressing the question of her presidency.
The GMA administration labors under an almost impossible handicap–that of the majority of the people already making up their mind against the Arroyo family. Survey after survey confirm this fundamental fact of the crisis. It is a matter of time and organization before this consciousness translates into an actual political movement to oust her–as it is now ongoing among the middle class and the grassroots.
The creation of a political movement to oust GMA is a matter of logical progression for the awakened sectors in the crisis. Not doing this basically allows the status quo to continue–something which they already rejected.
This political movement will be very broad–spanning ideologies and political positions, as well as classes and sectors. If allowed to develop to its fullest potential, this movement can easily turn into a broad and deep-going movement for political reforms and capable of setting forth the criteria for winning in the 2010 presidential elections–if not in actually becoming decisive in producing the winning candidate(s).
The power institutions may intervene at any time during the whole period of the crisis and its resolution. However, their influence over events will diminish in inverse proportion to the growth of this movement. On the other hand, extreme forces in the political Right and Left will be watching out for opportunities to push the whole crisis into a crisis of the whole post-Marcos democracy. These will participate in the movement with their own strategic motives.
At the moment, it is the political moderates–representing the reform-oriented political left-of-Center–that have taken the cudgels for the movement. Time will show if they will succeed in creating the critical mass that will resolve the crisis in favor of the people and for strengthening the fragile Philippine democracy.