The political situation now revolves on the transition to a stabilized Aquino regime. From the amateurishness of the first few months, the steep learning curve dictated by unpreparedness to assume power is about to end. The political landscape feels the wind change and is reacting accordingly.
On the one hand, there is the consolidation of the ruling coalition. The Liberal Party, amidst talks of internal strife, succeeded in negotiating its power structure with President Aquino taking a direct hand by assuming its chairmanship. Within the ruling coalition, a political pole is also emerging around Vice-President Binay, possibly with the help of disenchanted Lakas forces identified with FVR and JDV. The disenchanted Kampi group of the Cebu Garcias has formed its own National Union Party (NUP) formalizing its alignment with the ruling coalition. The NPC and the Estrada groups are also allying with the Aquino administration.
On the other hand, the Macapagal-Arroyo-led opposition coalition is fast becoming an endangered specie desperately seeking, at the least, a credible negotiating leverage against the ruling coalition steamroller. It has precious few allies by way of the Bayan Muna and its own party-list coterie plus some party-list groups identified with Kampi or the Arroyo family.
The point is already reached for the possible consolidation of power by the new government. Despite desperate and provocatory moves by the Arroyo loyalists, it is now almost a certainty that they cannot stop what is left of the power from slipping from their hands and the strengthening of the new regime’s hold on the power.
The issues at hand–particularly the cleaning-up of stay-behind Arroyo schemes, the stopping of erosion of various democratic institutions, including the judiciary, and the systemic corruption of the various structures of governance–are now in the agenda.
The next few months will see this agenda attended to–possibly in a more dramatic fashion than what we expect to happen. Difficult days are still ahead for the Aquino government as it tackles many issues of long-term governance. However, it will does so with a more flexible hand brought by a stable hold on power.