Last Saturday’s Makati rally was an Opposition and Left rally supported by the churches, the middle class, and the business community. That Malacañang chose to ignore the broadness of the participation and expectedly pointed to its relatively small size of 8,000-10,000 shows the political impact. It’s a quavering lower lip and a stiff upper lip.
Nobody billed the Makati rally beforehand as a rally for a people power initiative. It was precisely a warning of one. The broadness was the significant message, not the numbers.
The GMA administration is now in a quandary. Many of its allies in the HOR are wavering in their Con-Ass advocacy–they know the political message and are taking the prudent road.
This week counts as the last days of Congressional session before the holiday break. If Con-Ass is not passed now, it will have a more desperate timeline in the first quarter of 2009. It may require the iron hand then.
There is the suspicion that various accommodations by the GMA administration of Danding Cojuangco’s San Miguel point to a negotiated political agreement to use the Cojuangco influence in the AFP to augment its own. GSIS and other government shares in Meralco were given to the conglomerate. A favorable Sandigangbayan decision on the coco levy issue was then issued.
It may be that the GMA group is being taken for a ride on this but there is a need to be vigilant about military and police moves in the coming weeks. We are certainly entering a critical period in the political crisis.
The stiff upper lip may be that of a martial ruler.