Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino will assume his presidency with a few landmines from his predecessors. Landmines mean–in this case–political ones that can cut short his budding presidency.
First in the list are the various midnight appointments that the soon-to-be former president made, particularly to constitutional appointments, fixed-term posts, and positions under charter laws. These appointments cover either strategic positions, such as the chief justice or the AFP chief of staff position or key positions such as those in the GSIS, SSS, PAGCOR boards.
These appointments are designed to place GMA loyalists in a position to hinder or even prevent presidential prerogratives. These also hamstring the new president in the exercise of his powers and prevent financial resources from being mobilized immediately for his government. Of course, the latter becomes more serious when placed within the context of a bankrupt treasury and huge budget deficit.
The second on the list is the possible establishment of a hostile Congress. There is the crucial battle for leadership and dominance in the House of Representatives. The new president cannot afford to have a hostile leadership in this house for the latter cannot only obstruct presidential plans and programs but can potentially unseat him through an impeachment process.
No less important is the election of a friendly Senate president which denotes control of the majority in the upper house. In a situation where major reforms are to be undertaken, a cooperative Senate is a must.
Third on the list are the various laws, executive orders, and DOJ opinions passed by a sycophantic Congress and fashioned by a survivalist and rapacious presidency. All of these are designed to facilitate the plunder of government resources and public wealth, and prevent recovery or prosecution.
All these have to be attended to, preferably in the first hundred days of the Aquino administration. Otherwise, there is a grave danger of a short-lived Aquino government.