After the hesitation of the CBCP to make a decisive moral judgment and the manifest Supreme Court majority support for her position, president Macapagal-Arroyo and her allies see a possible victory for maintaining power up to 2010 and beyond. However, a looming impeachment move against her and the resurgence of people power kept her wary and on her toes.
As the 2010 end of her term nears, GMA has to make a decision shortly: whether to gamble on a new charter change initiative to prolong her stay in power or to conclude negotiations with a possible successor. To be sure, she keeps her options open and will not likely make a decision until the last minute.
As it is, the charter change option has been opened with the probable repeat of a people’s initiative–this time hoping that a compliant Supreme Court will allow it. This is a tricky proposition given the fierce popular opposition in 2006 and the political awakening of the middle class. The temptation is there for an intimidating use of military and police force to force through an initiative.
The second half of 2008 promises to be decisive in this regard as it is the last chance before the election fever sets in in earnest. In the same token, this period is also the last chance for the broad opposition to force her to step down.
Presidentiables are currently assessing their positions on how to ride on these scenarios for their bids in 2010. These tend to make them cautious and take a wait-and-see attitude, while maintaining vigilance for opportunities for political gains. Likewise, timidity sets in among the power institutions–they are also loathe to be decisive in the current situation.
Malacañang thus is encouraged to be adventurous.