The end of the first 100 days of President Noynoy Aquino’s term–honeymoon or none–has signaled the renewed offensive by political forces identified with the old Arroyo regime against the new government. It has also sent a signal to the Aquino camp to settle whatever differences they have to confront a continuing, if weakened, political threat.
We can cite some of the signs. Erstwhile president and now-congresswoman Arroyo suddenly found the opportunity and courage to lead her minority opposition to question Aquino’s 2011 and first budget. Erstwhile Arroyo national security adviser Gonzales suddenly came out of the woodworks and expounded on his “shadow cabinet” to replace Aquino before his term ends–broadly hinting at a coup d’etat or any other extra-constitutional measure.
It is interesting that, at the same time, rumors of a plot to assassinate president Aquino started to circulate, presumably coming from the Kuratong Baleleng, a former militia group turned criminal gang. It may be a coincidence that this group is still alive in Zamboanga peninsula, also the haunt of a powerful local political family of Romeo Jalosjos, a member of Gonzales’ PDSP.
Now, the attention has shifted to the Arroyo Supreme Court, which–in two recent decisions, prematurely stayed the impeachment proceedings of the House Committee on Justice against Arooyo appointee, Ombudsman Gutierrez and caused the return to status quo ante of an Arroyo appointee removed by an Aquino executive order.
Is there a pattern already of the continued Aquino-Arroyo political battle? I submit there is already an existing one even before the 2010 campaign, all the way back to the time when the late Cory Aquino called for Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s resignation in 2005.
The only difference now is that Arroyo is out of power and an Aquino is now in power.
The Arroyo forces see in the Luneta hostage-taking fiasco an opportunity to undermine Noynoy Aquino and cut his popular support. They immediately made it into a political issue by calling for the resignation of Aquino’s senior officials and even of Aquino. That the recent SWS survey did not lead to the loss of his popular support did not deter them–and possibly even goaded them–from upping the pressure on Noynoy.
There is now a real danger from these forces of the old administration, particularly since many of them are still in Noynoy Aquino’s government and are in a position to damage, sabotage or otherwise place obstacles in his governance.
This is a pattern that was once used on Cory Aquino to bend her to a certain political path. This is something that needs monitoring.