The Speakership War, series of 2008: Endgame

Well, that was a good question: “why only now?”

I’m referring to the statement by Korina Sanchez’ guest/resource person about his impression of JDV’s hour-long privilege speech. For the rabid anti-Gloria crowd, it probably sounds as if their campaign to remove Gloria from power before 2010 has suddenly found its Chavit Singson.

Recall that Erap’s fall became a serious action against one of the President’s with the highest mandate ever after one of his closest lieutenants spilled the beans on him. A civil society that hated the thought of an actor-drunkard-womanizer becoming President of the Republic suddenly had the ammunition it needed to push for his removal, not halfway into Erap’s term.

I’ve always said at the start of the Garci issue that one of the things the Opposition lacked was their own Chavit. They’ve had many Second Envelopes. But perhaps what they really lacked was that insider, that person so into the inner circle of Malacañang that, even if he has horrible credentials, people will believe what he says about the one’s he is spilling the beans of.

ANC’s current guest right now is giving a good analysis. I agree that the Messenger, and the timing of the Message, could remove a lot of the credibility from De Venecia’s privilege speech. These are things that the public has heard before. So he’s right with the comment that it will all depend on what the Speaker does in the following days: will he substantiate… or is this a ploy to make the President back down and come to an accommodation?

Another good question by Ces Drilon was if KAMPI and the others expected this. Like I said in the previous post, Malacañang since Garci has shown an amazing ineptness to what we in PR call “issue management.” It would seem that many of the actions of the Palace displayed a surprising… “coarseness” in reacting to major issues confronting the President. As if everything is being treated with kid gloves off and the only level of response is always with a good amount of force, whether political, economical, legal and (sometimes) literal.

This latest issue facing the Palace by the Pasig should actually have been a non-issue. Why rock the boat? Was Joey de Venecia’s revelations enough to bring the President down? I thought the strategy would be the buy time for space. With the early declaration for the presidency by Roxas, he actually forced all the other contenders to declare, one way or another, their campaigns, too. It suddenly turned the President’s staunchest opponents away from directly going after her head and to salivate for the post this early. Suddenly, Campaign Season 2010 started almost 3 years earlier.

So why suddenly put De Venecia’s head on the chopping block? Because Joey consistently went for the FG despite reported pleas from his dad to “back off” attacking the First Family? It doesn’t make sense. JDV knows too much, the way Chavit did. Personally he might have little in the way of credentials to the public but he’s much better regarded than the rougish Chavit; he is the Speaker, after all. Putting his political career on the line is the worst thing the Palace can do at this time, when it has the initiative. It smacks of the arrogance De Venecia accused the Arroyo family of.

Well. It really all depends on JDV now. What’s his next move?

The House is currently voting on Baham’s motion. In my opinion, its moot and academic. JDV has crossed the Rubicon. Regardless of where the vote goes – its 19 for “Yes”, 4 for “No” as Dado Arroyo talks – he has already unfurled his banners. And it is against Malacañang.

The next days will be very interesting, indeed…

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