After Cory, the attention shifts to Gloria. The political reason is that the death of Cory Aquino and the huge outpouring of people’s grief and respect–tantamount to a new demonstration of people power–threw a monkey wrench on the various plots by those in the administration to effect charter change and thereby maintain themselves in power beyond 2010.
The inability of these schemes to come to fruition inexorably drives the nail on GMA’s lameduck presidency. The factions in Malacañang suddenly realized the little time they have left and are scrambling to hasten their plots, make hay, or prepare to leave. The resignation of NEDA Director-General Ralph Recto is the latest event–and certainly not the last.
The time remaining may not be much. There is certainly tremendous pressure right now for her to resign and give way to Vice-President Noli de Castro. This would give the ruling coalition a breathing space, remove her as a centerpiece election issue, maintain the coalition, and possibly field a viable presidential candidate.
Standing against this pressure, GMA offers an emergency-based forced charter change through various permutations of unconstitutional measures, such as the House of Representatives-only Con-Ass, “revolutionary transition government,” or no-election caretaker government. Cory’s people power placed an almost insurmountable wall against all of these.
If GMA persists in her lameduck presidency, whatever loyalties of those around her would melt away. This will lead to insider conspiracies against her and defections will increase. All will fight for last-minute and carryable spoils of power.
GMA had tried negotiating with winnable presidential bets before but she always faces the problem of her counterpart offer in exchange for political cover. Like the Marcoses, the Arroyo family simply does not want to let go of their “earnings.”
She also explored fielding a trusted (or a controlled) candidate but nobody among the possibles have a Chinaman’s chance to win unless a massive cheating operation is put in place. The latter would certainly compromise the credibility of the elections and lead to the same political crisis that the 2004 elections provoked. With an awakened people power, the risks become unacceptable.
Today, the Arroyo family faces the same endgame that the Marcoses faced in 1983. The political logic of 1983 led to 1986. How will GMA choose?