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Three Post May 10 Scenarios

February 15, 2010

Are we headed for a new day of enlightened governance where  institutions work in harmony and give flesh to a democracy of checks and balances?

Or will we be treated to governance marked by the political gridlock between a reformist executive and a legislature with the Speaker of the House dispensing patronage politics as mastered by tradpols and power brokers?

We ask these in the face of the haughty trial balloon let loose by subalterns of outgoing President Gloria Magapagal Arroyo: that she will be installed as Speaker after she handily wins the congressional seat for Pampanga’s 2nd district while 160 other Lakas-Kampi-CMD congressmen are re-elected.

Add to that number the sitting Cabinet members seeking seats in either the Senate or the House without being required to resign, thanks to that abomination of a Supreme Court decision that threw  out the age old prohibition on civil servants using their positions to engage in partisan political activity.

With expectations that LP standard bearer Noynoy Aquino will win on May 10, Filipinos may end up having political adversaries separately heading the executive and legislative branches, with Arroyo appointees imperiously holding fort in the Supreme Court.

What we’ll have then is the legislative mill setting its activities at cross purposes with Malacanang.

A school of thought may posit that Aquino as President would have the edge given its control over the newly enacted P  1.5-T national budget.

Still, Arroyo as Speaker may very well still buy the loyalty of the larger majority of congressmen given Congress’s own huge budget and ability to make noise about the release of pork barrel allocations.

A legislature hostile to the Executive can also attempt to delay action on reforms initiated by an Aquino presidency.

Verily, at the very outset Aquino will be expected to exercise steely political will and prevent a potentially obstructionist Speaker from holding hold his young presidency hostage.

It ain’t all that gloomy, some may even say

What if Manny Villar scores the upset his henchmen claim he will.

With critics portraying the NP standard bearer as Gloria’s Trojan horse then you’ll probably have more of the status quo: an administration unwilling to be accountable for its actions and adept at the politics of obfuscation.

Imagine that: a President Villar, and a Speaker Arroyo.

How’s that for ‘a government of the people, for the people, and by the people’?

Postscript

A fourth more dreadful scenario could actually be added here: the failure of elections but I leave that for others to reflect on, for now,

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