The mutual fiasco of the Cha-cha adventure’s interweaving with the MOA-AD has not deterred increasingly-pressured Malacañang’s strategists from attempting–for the umpteenth time–another try. Sec. Peter Favila’s feeble citing of the need to change the 60-40 Filipino ownership in the Constitution is the new rationale.
I do not know if this is in response to the reported demand of the Chinese partners in the Mt. Diwalwal mining venture with a newly-organized Filipino mining company controlled by cronies close to the Palace. Mr. Favila was accused of signing earlier a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on this with the ZTE corporation of the NBN fame. His call for Cha-cha is suspiciously close to the announcement by the Philippine Mining Development Corporation (PMDC), the mandated government corporation, for bids on joint ventures on developing the Mt. Diwalwal gold area. The Mt. Diwalwal motherlode, estimated to amount to more than US$5 billion, has been supposedly discovered recently. Strangely, the area is part of the Category B areas listed in the MOA-AD.
In the light of Mr. Favila’s call, the initiative for charter change once again exposed another objective for the attempt to maintain GMA beyond her 2010 end of term. Huge, lucrative contracts and superprofits, as well as possible largesse from political corruption, awaits the new president as the opening of mining and oil ventures swamp the country in the next decade.
When former Sec. Nonong Cruz (and the Former Senior Government Officials-FSGO) warns of possible martial rule or state of emergency, he was actually saying–in the subtext–that those in power are quite desperate now as the window of opportunity for Charter change inexorably narrows and all attempts to do so fail.
Federalism, even if Sen. Pimentel’s resolution has started its committee hearing, lost steam as Cha-cha vehicle. Even Sen. Gordon, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments, Revision of Laws has said that Charter change can only come about after 2010. The corresponding House Committee on Constitutional Amendments has vacillated on holding national consultations, leading to suspicions that it is only dribbling the Cha-cha ball. Of late, there is rumbling from Speaker Nograles’ erstwhile GMA loyalist allies to unseat him for suspicion of disloyalty.
The only card left is the attempt to create a situation of national emergency, stage a palace coup, declare some form of martial rule, disorganize cha-cha opponents, and railroad Cha-cha. Will she do it?
Certain people close to her wants it and are mightily moving the AFP and the Moro rebels to enter the prepared script for a martial law declaration. Will she play along?
The situation generally points to the holding of normal elections in 2010; the Charter change express train shrinks by the day to being an irrelevancy. It was Alice of Wonderland who said, “If it had grown up, it would have made a dreadfully ugly child; but it makes rather a handsome pig, I think.”
Any other scheme faces big difficulties in execution. However, the current situation also says anything can happen because all political forces are moving, including the people’s movement against GMA’s Charter change.