It was a card too tempting not to play. The GMA camp behind Chief Justice Corona played it starting last Sunday with the defense press conference on alleged Malacañang 100-million peso bribery of individual senator-judges of the impeachment court. Then, a widely-publicized possible motion for inhibition of Senators Drilon, Pangilinan, and Guingona–a motion which had a thinly-veiled accusation of bias by LP senators. Then, CJ Corona himself came out with a supplement to his SC petition naming LP senators as biased against him. Now, the GMA media machinery churned out the real agenda–it accused the LP of the whole impeachment plot.
Not the President, mind you, despite the almost-universal opinion on the matter. The Liberal Party, it is, according to spinmasters of the former president. The motive? To replace CJ Corona with Justice Antonio Carpio, who, it is claimed, favors erstwhile vice-presidential candidate Mar Roxas in his protest against Vice-President Jejomar Binay before the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
Incredulous as it may seem to an ordinary political observer, it is a viable card to play because of the sensitivity of the parties involved in the electoral dispute. In fact, it is only the President that can bring the two camps together. As the 2013 national and local elections nears and the 2016 presidential election increasingly becomes the overarching factor in every political calculation, the Binay-Roxas rivalry is coming to the fore.
The GMA camp wants to fish in troubled water. The Corona impeachment, without doubt a presidential initiative within the broader anti-corruption pledge he made, is seen by them as a golden opportunity to do so. There is a definite drive by them to prolong, extend or delay the impeachment proceedings.
It seems that the Binay camp is taking the bait. The 13-10 senate vote on the opening of the Corona dollar account puts Binay-aligned senators on the opposite side of the LP-aligned senators. If the president cannot make his agenda paramount among his allies, then the possibility of a Corona acquittal looms large.
The GMA ploy will fail, not so much because there is no fertile ground for this type of an intrigue but because the people will reject it. The Binay card is a fruit of discord. Alongside the legal ploy to transfer impeachment jurisdiction to the GMA-controlled Supreme Court, it is the political ploy calculated to seize the political initiative.