The other side of the current political brouhaha (coup, etc.) is the relatively quiet but intense bid for charter change through–what else–constituent assembly and, possibly, people’s initiative. This bid supposedly takes care to plug the weaknesses of the 2006 failed bids.
The 2006 failures were directly traced to the opposition in the Senate, in the Comelec, by the churches, and by civil society. This current scheme includes the undermining of Senate resolve against charter change, forming a majority for charter change in the Comelec, dividing the churches, and forming a bogus civil society drumbeater among civil society groups. In this sense, the issue of federalism is being used (yet again!) as the raison d’etre for the attempt. Of course, the real provisions of interest are the transition provisions which would allow GMA or the current administration to hold on to the power beyond 2010.
Why is there this desperate insistence on a stay in power? For GMA and her personal coterie, it is the continuing failure to get assurances from presidentiables to protect them after 2010, the possibility of an Estrada candidacy bent on revenge, the impending impeachment attempt in October, and the paucity of winnable candidates in the Malacañang stable.
The political pot is again boiling–but the clock is already ticking for the non-electoral options.