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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Deconstructing the ‘disunity’

“Uneasy lies the crown when two fiefdoms, from the North and the South, are feeling antsy”

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The unravelling of the “unity” team began with the unceremonious but perfectly understandable (whether by Machiavelli or Sun Tzu standards) demotion of the former president, former speaker, former senator and now one of 10 deputy speakers of the House.

Speaker Romualdez acted with dispatch after hearing murmurs about a coup being hatched by dissatisfied members of the HoR who brought their complaints to the lady who once coveted his perch, something she admitted, but now supposedly disdains.

As she was the “chosen” successor to a decapitated speaker in the Duterte government, complete with SONA drama, Romualdez cannot be faulted for what the lady’s supporters call unceremonious and disrespectful.

Any politician worth his salt would “nip in the bud” threats to power, and the speaker is no slouch when it comes to the game of thrones.

But while politics is the art of the possible, it is also the art of the surprise, and the statements from the Sara and GMA camps come to many as subliminal revelations.

Recall that GMA explained in her second post-facto statement that everyone knows the speakership can happen only with presidential imprimatur, thereby insinuating that Romualdez had that from PFRM Jr. before she was demoted.

What has since become the talk of the noisy and nosy small town (politicians, political observers and the “marites”) is more the reaction of the vice president, Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio y Zimmerman who resigned immediately after from the Lakas of both Arroyo and Romualdez.

This writer will no longer comment on the “tambaloslos” tweet which Davaoenos recall was the favorite expletive of the vice-president’s grandmother, the esteemed Nanay Soling, just as “p..i” was her son’s cri de coeur each time he was angry.

Inday Sara, while fast with her fists, is decidedly calibrating with her words, with a touch of elegant prose that writers like us cannot but admire.

It is the official statement issued after her 45th birthday that we shall try to deconstruct in this article, like tea leaves geomancers read and political observers “analyze.”

The antecedent that triggered the reaction was a side comment from Cavite representative Elpidio Barzaga Jr., which seemed to imply that Speaker Martin did not deserve the pointed barbs from the vice president, including intentionally omitting the president’s middle name in a birthday celebration.

“Sycophants,” she implied. Many more from the HoR followed Barzaga. They know wherefrom the butter in their bread comes, and for now it isn’t from Davao.

Yet as she herself said, one must not mistake humor for attack. But never mind the tit for tat.

What is rather interesting are the second and third sentences, where she calls the allegation of Speaker Martin’s help in pushing for her VP bid as “acutely inaccurate,” and “an insult to thousands of groups and individuals who incessantly implored (her) to reconsider an earlier decision not to join national politics.”

Take note of the words “national politics.” Her legion of admirers wanted her to run for president, no less, remember? From mayora to presidenta no less.

Then she identifies Senadora Imee as the person who “eventually persuaded me to run as vice-president.”

And now comes the most intriguing part—“it was a decision sealed only after PBBM agreed to the conditions I set before running for vice-president.”

Underscore “only” and “conditions” before agreeing to be Numero Segundo, instead of what many expected and what her supporters wanted—Numero Uno.

Now one should ask—what are those conditions?

On the matter of timing, it comes at about the same time the president appointed Gilbert Teodoro as defense secretary, a position that supposedly Sara wanted, as stated by then presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos?

And Senadora Imee, the president’s elder sister, take note once again, has not been totally supportive of her brother’s presidential initiatives, whether on his pro-US of A expansion of foreign military presence or the Maharlika fund.

Neither the senator nor the vice-president have been endorsing persons for appointive positions in an administration that till now has many vacancies yet to fill.

The vice-president finds the antics of the congressmen she labeled “sycophants” as “quite amusing.”

Make no mistake, however, for when her time comes, she will not forget, and she will not be amused.

But the latter part of her statement is gist for intrigue, where she reiterates that the administration of the president is “strong and stable.”

And why not? With close to 300 congressmen belonging to various flags of convenience marching to the beat of the speaker’s “curacha” (the signature Waray dance), and a Senate too submissive as well (except for the presidential sister and another senadora who sees nothing good in the administration), how can it not be strong and stable?

Ah! But the last sentence raises eyebrows of some observers: “It has my all-out support and the support of the majority of the Filipino people.”

Why preface support as “my,” when they are supposed to be a “uniteam,” and the president’s “BFF?”

Will her all-out support diminish in time, waiting for another casus belli?

How much further would “unity” unravel down the not too long road to 2025, and the yet long road to 2028?

The pinklawans are beside themselves with joy. But then again, do they yet matter in the political scheme of things?

Their Manay Leni is content with traipsing around the world, and even her signature Angat-Buhay seems inactive even as Mayon Volcano in her region acts up, threatening eruption.

Uneasy lies the crown when two fiefdoms, from the North and the South, are feeling antsy.

Meanwhile, “Mabuhay ang Kalayaan!”

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