Today, the people will rally in Makati against the GMA–and their HOR allies–plan for an HOR-only Constituent Assembly. Similar rallies will also be done in various urban centers in the country. This happens even as the entire 23-member Senate of the Philippines came out with a resolution against Con-Ass; the major media outfits, including ABS-CBN, GMA7, and Philippine Inquirer agreed to monitor closely the Supreme Court appointments; and the churches warned against ramming through with charter change againt the people’s wishes, currently running 64% against Con-Ass.
The rally is not yet THE people power that would decisively settle the political crisis. Its importance is not yet in its number. Its significance is in its broad participation–ranging all the way from the Left to the anti-GMA groups in the Right of the political spectrum. GMA and her allies stand all alone, by their lonely selves, dancing in the twilight of power.
The rally throws the political gauntlet before the Arroyo administration. The line is drawn. Henceforth, all attempts to pursue the GMA charter change and imperil the holding of the 2010 elections will be met by a combined people’s opposition. Such is the stuff people power is made of.
Unfortunately, this situation also invites desperate countermoves. The people should be prepared for the possibility of violent reprisal by Malacañang as it confronts a wall of protests. The stakes are simply too high for GMA to back down gracefully without a compromise or a try at victory.
Picking up the gauntlet means setting the stage for some form of martial rule to disorganize the charter change opposition and terrorize the people. This means battening up to weather a coming storm.
Not picking up the gauntlet means powering down the charter change train and letting election scenario to develop peacefully.
Either way, the GMA administration loses.