Though it is still to early to make a firm determination of the post-election scenario, one can already glimpse the various scenarios facing a probable Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino ascension to the presidency. The range cover the following possibilities:
1. Pax Aquino: Aquino may be able to immediately consolidate power and neutralize opposition to his planned reforms. The goodwill that his credible victory gained plus the solid support base may be parlayed into a lasting reform agenda for changing and maturing the political process into modernizing Philippine democracy. However, this would entail much adeptness and firm political will, particularly in dealing with the various national and local centers of power.
2. Politics of compromise: Aquino may feel pressured to compromise with a hostile Congress and water down the reform agenda, even to the extent of foregoing any reform at all.
3. Coalition of the willing: Aquino pursues the reform agenda but is limited by his core base. Constant political challenge will be the hallmark of his administration even as the ground is laid for a constitutional, electoral or extraordinary challenges to his presidency.
There is no middle ground here. The nature of the reforms, such as the anti-corruption ones, guarantee resistance from the erstwhile political elite–many among them will try to derail any real reform. The real fight–for Noynoy–has just begun.