The Joc of the Minority?

November 17, 2008 § Leave a comment

Was there a compromise between the minority Senators and Malacanang with respect to the ouster of Senate President Manny Villar which is tied to the on-going Joc-Joc Bolante fertilizer fund probe? And was it a compromise for senators to “free Bolante” in exchange for Villar’s head?

We all know that the minority has been gunning for Villar’s ouster since a year ago. The Opposition would have been the new majority had some “oppositionists”, in the likes of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano not went over the fence and sided with the Villar camp, who, obviously is linked in some ways with the palace. It seems that the compromise involves senators treating Bolante like a kid and allow him to go home (and possibly scot-free?) in exchange for 3 additional votes from the administration block.

That explains why during the Joc-Joc Bolante probe, there were some administration senators who abstained from the hearings. Are Senators, especially from the minority, agreeable to just go thru the motions and eventually drop the prospect of a deeper Bolante probe in exchange for Villar’s ouster? Last hearing, there were suggestions that personalities connected with Bolante, like former DA Secretary Cito Lorenzo be asked to appear at the Senate. Will the minority senators still pursue this matter as vigorously as what they promised before? How about those suggestions that former Senate President Franklin Drilon be made to appear at the Senate as a witness? Will this be sacrificed as well?

What the minority had not realized is that this new configuration at the Senate imperils the chances of the People opposed to charter change. With Enrile at the helm of the Upper Chamber, and the possibility of the Cayetano siblings staying with the administration block, the chances of Malacanang railroading the proceedings at the Senate remains high. Enrile is an obviously administration lackey and with the votes with him, what would prevent Malacanang from forcefully pressing cha-cha down our throats this time?

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