By Mon Casiple
The congressmen who voted for the holding of the GMA constituent assembly feel the universal heat. Putting up a brave face, many of them contemplate the possible impact of their decision on their candidacies and political future. Some even blamed the Senate (?) for the HOR Con-Ass decision.
There is a miscalculation of the public’s anti-GMA sentiment–it’s transferable. In the 2007 elections, it translated to losses of erstwhile high-rating senatorial candidates. It also led to Senator Trillanes’ victory who ran only on this single issue. The GMA kiss of death, despite Secretary Gilbert Teodoro’s optimism, is a major factor in the coming 2010 elections, particularly if GMA continues at the helm of the current government.
The congressmen went out on a limb when they–for their own reasons–chose to push forward with the Con-Ass initiative. In many places, even in their own dynastic heartlands, GMA is the current issue. Combined with the rising anti-trapo sentiments and various citizen’s initiatives in electoral monitoring, there is a greater chance this accommodation of GMA’s survival scheme will cost them their political influence, even their own seats.
This is still too early to see how the Con-Ass participation will actually impact on them. However, the trend is the widening and deepening of the opposition to the initiative. A defiant House of Representatives will increasingly be beleaguered along with GMA herself. The unconstitutional convening of the constituent assembly itself can tip the balance and send the whole thing spiralling into a constitutional crisis. People power is a distinct possibility in this case.
The worst-case scenario stares the congressmen in their collective faces. Charter change this late into the electoral scenario turns them into political pariahs–it may even lead to their political demise.