The Malacañang ploy of endorsing the Pimentel resolution on federalism backfired and earned for its pains a resurgent anti-Cha-cha movement. This particular poison called “extension of GMA stay-in-power” has now fatally affected three current major national initiatives, one after the other: political settlement with the MILF through MOA-AD, federalism through the Pimentel resolution, and charter change through a constituent assembly.
Whatever the merits of these initiatives, proponents should admit that these are now politically dead where they stand–the killing bolt shot from the bolt of widespread public resistance. It is now time to go back to the drawing board. However, the one lesson learned is that the people will not support nor tolerate any major national initiative or policy that is perceived to be in aid of GMA’s continued occupation of Malacañang beyond 2010.
This developing national consensus says that charter change, whether by way of shifts to federalism and/or parliamentary system, or required by the peace processes, or due to advocacy for constitutional reforms will have to happen after 2010. The 2010 national and local elections should happen as scheduled.
Any deviation from this electoral path will likely be perceived as self-serving and in aid of GMA’s agenda. The only one Cha-cha initiative possible before the end of GMA’s term is constitutional convention whose delegates may be elected alongside the 2010 regular elections.