On April 13, Speaker Nograles of the House of Representatives promises, charter change will be tackled as number one priority in the House agenda. Not his own proposal, but the one by Congressman Luis Villafuertre (Kampi, Camarines Sur).
On its face, the continuing saga of never-say-die charter change is already ended and one can intrepret the Nograles pronouncement as desperation. This is so in the light of the 2010 election scenario that now overarches the whole political landscape. However, desperation does not understand simple logic nor the risks nor the political death traps out there. It simply plays out the momentum of the power objective, in this case, the unswerving interest to maintain the power.
Desperation does not necessarily breed failure. Usually, it breeds unintended consequences. In the case of the Villafuerte/Arroyo cha-cha initiative, it brings huge stakes to the table at this point in time. Success means continued stay in power but at the price of a riven political divide, may be even a new Marcos-type political polarization. Failure means the deathknell of the Arroyo political dynasty in national politics. That is why I doubt that the Arroyo family is willing to go all the way in pursuing charter change before the 2010 elections. Cha-cha is a distinct possibility but it is not the main option.
The more likely option is to secretly support a winnable presidential candidate and structure this support in such a way that the presidential winner becomes a willing guarantor for protection of Arroyo interests after 2010 while at the same time ensure a hold on the winning candidate.
In this context, the cha-cha initiative (and its list of “loyalists”) is being maintained to demonstrate GMA’s electoral strength. From the point of view of the beneficiaries, it is a convenient way to raise campaign funds and maintain political influence while waiting for the inevitable point of no return–their shift of allegiance to a new winnable presidentiable.