Now it’s out— former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been stripped of her post as “senior deputy speaker.” What does this mean? It means a considerable loss of power and control over members of Congress. Being a “senior” deputy speaker implies the power to dictate what proposed bills should be prioritized and voted upon by the entire chamber. Macapagal-Arroyo said that this decision to “demote her” was a collegial decision. She later corrected herself and said it was a decision fraught with “political suspicions” after being “accused” of being at the center of a plot to oust Speaker Martin Romualdez.
Was Gloria plotting a coup? Maybe, says some sources. Romualdez has been successful in pushing for his cousin’s legislative agenda. And the speaker is the remaining stumbling block for any group’s attempts at filing any impeachment case against PBBM. With Gloria at the helm, the possibility of an impeachment charge looms.
Or maybe not. Gloria is not so foolish as to destroy her ties with the president. Marcos Junior is getting stronger politically by the minute, and his position is somewhat secured with the backing of, you guess, the United States. The CIA will never allow a coup against Mr. Marcos for obvious reasons–a coup will surely benefit China, already lost in its geopolitical struggle with the US in the Indo-Pacific region. Gloria’s boys know this.
What’s obvious is that this “demotion” is an implicit attempt at distancing Gloria from the administration without arousing great suspicion from the PBBM camp. Gonzales, who replaced Gloria, is a Duterte minion, a member of the PDP-Laban. So, expect no change in the political game as what the Macapagal-Arroyo camp wants us to believe. This means this so-called “coup” against Speaker Romualdez remains a “live” operation. Interesting huh?
After Gloria’s demotion, Vice President Sara Duterte announced her resignation from Lakas-CMD, the political party that propelled her and President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Junior to power. Ms. Duterte made this move shortly after National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano made her co-chair of the NTC-ELCAC, an anti-insurgency post. Everyone knows that Ano was Duterte’s DILG secretary before being appointed at the top of the security establishment. The Duterte camp seems to expect something big to happen this June that would shake the political establishment.
Let’s get the cat out of the bag now– the camp of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Junior knew for a very long time already that the Duterte camp has been secretly plotting to prop Sara up not just as a potential presidential candidate for five years from now but as a possible successor of PBBM. There are several reasons for this: first, most political associates of Mr. Duterte maintain substantial business interests in the bureaucracy. Most of them had been stripped of their primary sources of corruption, err, corruption. As usual, they have been complaining to their principal, and the principal feels responsible for this. And second, some of these people are involved in underground activities, now being neutralized by other groups led by former generals.
Anyway, Mr. Duterte’s group plans to get back to power. And their route is thru Ms. Sara. Ms. Duterte, some sources say, is receptive to this plan. This is most dangerous for the country, some analysts say.
Everyone knows that the Duterte group represents Chinese Communist interests in this country. China has lost the geopolitical game, with the US renewing its strong security ties with the Philippines and gaining five more EDCA sites. The US has checkmated China, and the only way for China to realize its hegemonic ambitions in the Asia-Pacific is to undermine Philippine local politics.
So, what do we expect in the coming weeks?
June is very interesting because the President is expected to unveil his new Cabinet appointees, most of them losers, during the 2022 elections. Will the people benefit from these appointments? Most probably not. Expect these appointees to just use their respective posts and public monies to propel or revive their sagging political careers.
The question everyone is asking– will the tandem of Gloria and Duterte announce the formation of a bigger and noisier political opposition come June? This group will try to project themselves as “fiscalizers,” but in truth, their objective is quite obvious– expedite the exit of PBBM from the political scene constitutionally or unconstitutionally. The question is–is there enough time for them to achieve this political goal? Yes, had they succeeded in ousting Romualdez from the speakership. No, if by August, they fail to fan further the political flames devouring this administration since a year ago.
Will we see an oppositionist political party in the next few weeks? I think they will unveil it on or before the State of the Nation address of President Marcos Junior. Expect more news releases from the Office of the Vice President (OVP). Expect more visibility coming from Ms. Duterte’s camp as she is being prepared for some forces close to China, again, according to some sources. Last April, PDP-Laban met with the head of the Internationalist committee of the Chinese Communist Party in Pasay after China’s ambassador sounded “pissed” or deathly worried about PBBM’s pivot towards the US. Expectingly, anti-Marcos Junior attacks soared shortly after this meeting. PDP-Laban has been in constant contact with the Chinese Communist Party since 2010. During Duterte’s administration, the PDP-Laban openly supported and praised Communist China’s ideological ethos.