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The Congressional Smoke and Mirrors Show

December 5, 2008

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Having watched many a Filipino political zarzuela, this writer reads with much skepticism the headline-grabbing reports that President Arroyo’s congressional allies are split down the middle between pushing for a constituent assembly to alter the Constitution or the formation of an elected constitutional convention to propose amendments to the 1987 fundamental law.
The scenario now playing has KAMPI president Luis Villafuerte plotting the ouster of recently installed House Speaker Prospero Nograles!
Don’t expect celebratory street gatherings just yet.
Methinks we are witnessing a classic smoke and mirrors show.
Plan B is for Villafuerte, who is pushing for the houses of Congress  to become a Constituent Assembly, to give in to Nograles should his ouster plot fail.

This way, Villafuerte projects himself as statesmanly and Malacanang appearing to heed public opposition to Con-Ass.

This Plan B of the Cha-Cha plot plays out with the ConCon delegates being elected on the basis of existing congressional districts.
So what will we have?
The wives, sons or cousins of sitting lawmakers will be vying for the ConCin seats with access to the administration’s near-bottomless political war chest.
If that ConCon does not turn out to be pliant enough to Malacanang’s designs, there is the tested and proven ‘Bon-Bonus’ strategy not unlike the days on 1971 ConCon delegate Miguel Quintero.
If that formula fails, Plan C be put into motion where under an emergency rule situation the drafted charter can just be put to barangay assembly ‘viva voce’ ratification following the Marcosian blueprint that appears to be playing out.
At the end of the day, if the suspicions of many Filipinos come true, you will have GMA holding the reins of power with her term extended or as Primera Deputada and National Assembly Speaker, and Prime Minister after 2010. You can almost hear Handel’s Messiah playing in the background.

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