Monday, July 6, 2009

Wag the dog and Hello Garci 2

Is there really an on-going campaign to destabilize the Arroyo administration? Or these talks are just rumours fueled by people with infantile imagination, as what Defense secretary Gibo Teodoro and PNP chief Jesus Verzosa said?

If you think about this, talks surfaced when authorities found bombs planted in some government offices in Quezon City. In fact, one bomb exploded at the Office of the Ombusman. What came afterwards were bomb threats. That's in Metro Manila. In Mindanao, it's different. Bombs were really going off, injuring and even killing people. Yesterday morning, a bomb exploded in Cotabato City, near the Cotabato Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral. This is one mean and sick joke.

Who made the presumption that there were destab efforts? It was a Cabinet member, Agriculture secretary Art Yap, a close associate of Mrs. Arroyo. While the AFP was quick to deny Oplan August Moon and the like, members of Mrs. Arroyo's own cabinet are the ones peddling these talks about certain groups out to overthrow the regime.

Yesterday's Malacanang statement made shortly after the Cotabato blast indicates that the palace is privy to some pieces of information that is wont the public to believe.

Deputy spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said that the blast was the handiwork of "destabilizers", a clear contradiction to the statement made by the AFP, attributing the blast to special ops teams of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Was this a clear miscommunication between the AFP and the Palace? Or, the palace deliberately used the occasion to cry wolf or wag the dog?

Clearly, the palace is anticipating something big, since the explosion occurred at the time when the AFP was parading its forces on Camp Aguinaldo grounds. AFP spokesman Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr. said that Saturday's parade was "no show of force"; but was meant as an exercise in preparation for the AFP's role as an augmentation force come SONA on July 27.

Was it just a coincidence that the bomb went off the day after the AFP was parading their troops in full regalia? Who was the target of the show-off? Take note that it was only the Army that came in the parade, the division controlled by no less than palace pretty boy, Army Chief Lt. General Delfin Bangit.

There is a pattern, so to speak, if we are to believe Brawner. That pattern points to a clear and present danger. Yet, it is wrong to presume that these efforts are part of what National security adviser Norberto Gonzales (another close Arroyo associate and part of her ideologue group) calls concerted efforts by an opposition leader to sow terror ahead of the SONA. No.

These incidents confirm talks of an internal squabble for power between two PMA classes within the AFP and the PNP. A source confirms that officials are trying to outdo each other ahead of the 2010 elections. Why? Because these officials want to be appointed to juicy posts prior to the elections. We all know that the palace has now shifted strategy from cha-cha to elections, after Mrs. Arroyo's public pronouncement that the elections will push thru as planned. Provincial posts mean big money since traditionally, police and military officials serve as "kingmakers".

There is now an effort to carve "territories", so to speak, ahead of the elections. This is also a reason why one class wants to dislodge AFP C-S General Victor Ibrado and his close associates. Efforts to replicate Hello Garci 2 is clearly now the direction being taken by the Arroyo regime to ensure that the administration bet wins in 2010.