The pressure just came on piling!
On the heels of the impeachment complaint against president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, came the unprecedented bishops’ call for a “new government”, the coming into town of former USec Bolante, another round of unrest “whispers” in the military, and yet another record unpopularity survey. Malacañang is going into another siege–this time with a lot of uncertainty regarding the loyalty and cohesiveness of its own ranks.
The pressure is a slow screw–unlike past challenges–and may last for sometime. It is a serious turn in the political crisis of the GMA administration given two major unfavorable developments. The first is the inexorable drift of the economy towards recession in sympathy with the developing global recession–which the administration may mitigate but is powerless to prevent. The second is the inexorable settling in of a lameduck presidency–which may be reversed by a successful charter change initiative to prolong its stay in power. This however will almost surely provoke a decisive political struggle.
The GMA is fighting back to turn back the pressures, but so far indications are that its measures do not work. A siege mentality is slowly embracing its actions. The impeachment bid has not been killed outright and is working through the “normal” process. Mr. Bolante has consented to testify in the Senate despite hospital visits and a ploy by the lower house to preempt his testimony. Even the attempt to project US support failed dismally with the continued failure to even talk to president-elect Obama.
It is interesting to monitor if a Chicago presidential trip will produce the much-coveted seal of US symbolic support. I suspect the (un)popularity of the GMA presidency and its (un)democratic image will have something to do with the outcome.
There is a struggle going on right now between pro-and anti-GMA forces, straddling all possible arenas. An interesting political time.