Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Metro Placed On Full alert: US Spy Chief in Manila This Sunday

Metro Manila has been placed on full alert, a few days prior to the expected visit of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Chief Leon Panetta this Sunday. It's still unknown why America's chief spy is visiting the country, although some say it's part of Washington's policy to convey to Mrs. Arroyo it's views on both security and political developments in the Philippines.

Panetta's visit is a short one---only 12 hours. Yet, it is significant because it comes at the heels of a previous visit of another top Obama official--Defense secretary Robert Gates.

Gates came to the Philippines while Mrs. Arroyo was on a state visit to Japan. He was welcomed by Defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro. During Gates' visit, he expressed Washington's desire for Malacanang to push thru with the 2010 elections.

A few days ago, US Ambassador Kristie Kenney reiterated Gates' message in public, emphasizing Washington's belief in term limits and adherence to the democratic way in political succession.

Panetta's hush-hush visit reminds me of moves Washington made in two occasions: during Marcos' last days in the palace and Erap's. Washington always send its message on two channels--both official (diplomatic) and unofficial (through envoys without official standings). Is this similar? Is Panetta out to get Arroyo's commitment to democracy? Or, he'll be here to assess, share and monitor what could possibly be a rise of terrorist activities in Mindanao?

Better for Panetta to just talk with Mrs. Arroyo and help her think clearly.

By the way, where's DILG secretary Ronnie Puno? Is he being pushed out also from Malacanang?

Definitely, forces are moving to push both Teodoro and Puno out of the palace. These very close associates of Mrs. Arroyo are using these series of bomb attacks to justify their plan. Will they succeed? Heard that their plan would coincide with the trip of Mrs. Arroyo to Egypt. A Honduran solution is a possibility?

Speculations are rife that Washington has also opened itself for talks with the opposition. Are groups preparing for a showdown?

What's certain is this---Mrs. Arroyo and her minions want to push the envelope. Yes, they are determined to push their luck. They would try to implement a selective implementation of martial rule, first in Mindanao, then, here, in the metropolis.

The question is---are we ready to defeat them? Let me quote what Hyatt 10 said: " With God's will..."

Let God's will be done. Laban Na!