Saturday, July 11, 2009

Clashes inside the Palace: Teodoro's Birthday Bash and FG's in HK

A few months ago, I remember how Defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro publicly announced his desire to be anointed by Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Unlike other presidentiables, Teodoro did not believe that an anointment from Arroyo would be considered a "kiss of death". Teodoro said that he'll surely not push thru with his presidential candidacy without Arroyo's endorsement.

How would Teodoro feel if one or at least two of Mrs. Arroyo's family members already expressed their disapproval of him as the lady president's "heir apparent"?

Last June 28, during the birthday celebration of the First Gentleman in Hongkong, presidential son Mikey Arroyo had an unusual toast. Infront of about 60 to 70 or so guests of the First Gentleman who were bileted at the posh Island Shangri-La Hotel in Admiralty , Mikey reportedly expressed his disatisfaction and apparent dismay (some say disgust) against Teodoro. Describing his mother's defense secretary as "wily and crafty", the presidential son reportedly showed his personal animosity with Teodoro. Reportedly, the president just smiled while the First Gentleman reportedly looked on with an impish smile.

What precipitated this unexpected tirade against Teodoro? Some sources say it was the photo of US Defense secretary Robert Gates with his Filipino counterpart that increased suspicion among Arroyo family members that Teodoro is moving against the Chief Executive.

Sources say some palace officials close to the Arroyo clique expressed fears of Teodoro possibly using his increasing military network to undermine Mrs. Arroyo. Others, however, said that the Arroyos have a "personal thing" with Teodoro's wife who happens to be a Prieto.

Is this the reason why Teodoro, as some analysts observed, is being slowly eased out in Arroyo's inner circle? Or the Arroyo clique read something sinister behind the birthday bash of Teodoro last June 15?
Remember that two weeks prior, US Defense secretary Robert Gates met Teodoro. Gates visited the DND upon the personal invitation of Teodoro. Prior to Gates' departure, the highest US official of the Obama administration to visit Manila, expressed a glowing account of US-Philippine cooperation against terrorism. Insiders say, Gates virtually "endorsed" Teodoro.

Gate's visit was reportedly the cause for the thawing of relations between Arroyo and Teodoro. Arroyo was reportedly "unaware" of the visit of Gates. This visit was interpreted by close Arroyo advisers as evident proof that something is definitely "not right" in Teodoro's group.
Another proof that Teodoro is slowly being eased out was when Mrs. Arroyo decided not to ask Teodoro to accompany her in her visits in Japan and the Americas.
A source, a politician, however said he was not surprised with this latest development. What's happening, he says, is that some quarters within the palace are actually moving against Gibo to prop up Vice President Noli de Castro's standing within the Lakas-KAMPI party. Talks are reportedly underway to split the purported Teodoro-Puno tandem and replace it with a De Castro-Teodoro team, or a De Castro-Puno teamup. Some LAKAS-KAMPI officials favor a De Castro presidency since the chances of winning are high instead of a Teodoro-Puno.
Teodoro is supposed to announce his entry into the Lakas-KAMPI political party on the first week of July. What happened? Is Teodoro backing out and thinking of forming his own political party? Will this "new party" the one that would finally break the huge machinery of Lakas-KAMPI.
This early, some Lakas members already bolted the coalition and went to the Nationalist People's Coalition, while some, to the Nacionalista Party. Are these signs of a crumbling Arroyo regime?