Aquino now eyeing an extended term?

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Not only has President B. S. Aquino’s satisfaction rating nosedived. He was also reported to have had a nasty breakdown after a bout of hard coughing. Prompted by these, his “crisis managers” are said to have stepped up his survival planning to include options once thought to be “unthinkable.” According to Malacanang sources, Aquino is now on “a war footing,” prepared to consider a “palace coup” to extend his term beyond June 30, 2016. He is a drowning man clutching at straws, in the last extreme of optimism and surrealism.

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So far Aquino has rejected the nationwide call for his resignation arising from his direct accountability in the death of 44 PNP-Special Action Force commandos in the Jan. 25 Mamasapano massacre. At the same time he is trying to get Vice President Jejomar C. Binay out of the way as his constitutionally-named, and possible elective successor. In this scenario, everything will be used to incapacitate Binay politically, and finally replace him with either Senate President Franklin Drilon or Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. Thereafter, PNoy could quietly resign and allow the new Vice President to take over. The new President could then appoint a new Vice President.

In the 2016 elections, the new President and Vice President could run as a team, with all the advantages provided by their having been in power for so long, but without PNoy around anymore to spook the voters, or Binay to threaten the chances of the LP standard bearer. Without any notable opposition, this looks like a walk in the park for the incoming team. But Murphy’s law has taught us that if anything can go wrong it will, and PNoy has simply to open his mouth for disaster to come cascading. The destruction of Binay scenario could still utterly fail, and this is where the term-extension scenario comes in.

It is so unreal. Political reality sees Aquino as a political derelict whose present is now also his future. He has lost every right or reason to stay one minute longer in office; yet his “crisis managers” respond by planning to impose him on the nation for yet another six years or longer. Not even his old supporters could still see him as a viable player in 2016. Their prayer is that he would be succeeded by a friendly successor who would allow him to fade gently into the sunset when his term is over.

But even his closest kin have serious fears. They seem to believe that regardless of whoever succeeds him, he could not be sure of anything. His best option, in their view, is to step down now, as the National Transformation Council and other groups have proposed, and seek a sanctuary in some friendly territory like the peninsular Malaysian state of Johore, whose ruler is said to be his personal friend, while a caretaker council fixes the broken constitutional order.

Apparently, his “crisis managers” believe that a resort to “raw power” could still reverse his sinking political fortunes. They are counting on his foreign patrons to prop him up, in exchange for his complete subservience to their geopolitical schemes, even if support for it in the grassroots proves unobtaining. They seem confident the masses and the military will not rise, just because they are controlled by the economic, political and military elite who are in turn feeding out of Aquino’s hands. But what if this assumption ultimately proves wrong?

Indeed, a term extension, assuming it could be arranged, could buy time and postpone the day of reckoning for Aquino’s unpunished crimes. But would it extinguish those crimes, instead of simply multiplying them? Are they not likely to proliferate than be forgotten over time? I cannot see term-extension as a solution to Aquino’s–or the nation’s–problems. I would therefore urge an extreme abundance of caution before Aquino stamps his approval upon this proposal.

It is not clear how far the reported planning has gone. But one source said, “it’s always been there. It’s Aquino’s basic response to the fear that his successor would do to him what he did to his immediate predecessor and the three opposition senators, who are now in jail.” A lawyer in the Aquino family was reported to have told him that he could spend at least 25 years in jail with Budget Secretary Florencio Abad for “malversation of public funds” on the grave misuse and manipulation of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) issue alone, not to mention his culpability in the Mamasapano massacre, where some of the victims’ families have threatened criminal action against him once it becomes “legally possible.”

As president, Aquino cannot be prosecuted for any criminal offense until his term is over, or unless he is first removed by impeachment. Yet he could not be impeached now because of his virtual stranglehold upon Congress, which alone has the power to impeach and remove him. But life in prison is his greatest fear, and this fear is shared (perhaps to a greater degree) by members of the Cabinet, who have committed plunder through the DAP and various illegal contracts in the Department of Transportation and Communication, the Department of National Defense, the Department of Agriculture and others; and incurred criminal liability for the death of the SAF 44.

Compared to Aquino, who may be able to engage in political bargaining with his successor, his Cabinet cronies and sycophants have no political capital to use for such bargaining. They have therefore every reason to be more afraid, and to be more determined to see Aquino cling on to power. But exactly how workable is this option? Aquino is hardly in control of all the variables; not even time is in his favor.

There are two ways of doing the extension. First, through a constitutional amendment, and second, through a takeover of the Constitution. Given his current control of Congress, Aquino might still be able to muster the necessary three-fourth vote in both the Senate and the House of Representatives to allow him to extend his term. Smartmatic and the thoroughly corrupted precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines could then deliver the votes at the plebiscite, even if the entire electorate should unanimously vote against the amendment.

But there may not be enough time for it. Since certificates of candidacy for the May 2016 elections should be filed starting this October, any attempt to amend the Constitution should happen anytime soon rather than later. And since this would require a plebiscite, which is equivalent to a national election, it would mean holding two national electoral processes within a period of less than one year. This is a little too much; we have not done anything like it before.

A constitutional takeover would seem easier. All Aquino has to do is to announce a revolutionary government and promulgate his version of his late mother’s 1986 “Freedom Constitution” in place of the present Constitution, and give himself a new term. The only problem here, though, is if the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which the Constitution recognizes as the protector of the people and the state, should refuse to recognize and obey the “revolutionary government,” and give the power instead to a multi-sectoral caretaker council, or take power for themselves and throw out an adventurist president into the gutter.

This is the real risk which may not be worth taking. Aquino may have to rethink the proposed option very very very carefully, all over again.

fstatad@gmail.com

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38 Comments

  1. The conception by the MILF and its Malaysian supporters to dismember the Republic by breaking away the MINDANAO region from the Republic as its final goal after the BBL passage is a cause for an all-out civil war in MINDANAO and an act of belligerency by MILF and Malaysia which calls for a declaration of war! When this happens PNoy must be prosecuted for treason together with Ferrer and DELES. These three traitors must immediately be isolated in jail and prosecuted and sentenced to death. Malaysia is the “war pusher” which encourages the MUSLIM fanatics like the MILF and BIFF to rebel and declare their independence from the Republic. Malaysia had been an instigator to foment rebellion in Mindanao since it got hold of Sabah! It is only a ploy by the MILF to advocate ” PEACE” as a deceiving action for the approval of BBL though with a threat of “war” from the Muslim groups and the stupid Pnoy declaration of “body bags” if BBL is not passed. Let there be war and PILIPINOS must not be scared coz it will lead to a dismemberment of the Republic if we remain silent and be apathetic to MUSLIM plan to secede. Patriotic PILIPINOS must be vigilant to prevent the passage of BBL. NO TO BBL! We must fight for the continues Union of Mindanao with Luzon and Visayas regions. We must face the Malaysian threat of physical incursions and political interference in supporting the MILF as its agents to make MINDANAO as a sub-state and finally as a component federal state of Malaysia by annexing it to its federal union!

  2. Honestly, I’ve been thinking along this line over a year ago. Why? The impeachment of CJ Corona, the appointment of friendly justices, COMELEC commisioners, Ombudsman, NBI Chief, Chief Generals, attack dogs whose duty is to eliminate any and all possible opponents? But as a layman, I couldn’t say this was what he’s been doing then. Until you said so today, Mr. Secretary sir!

  3. Let PNoy be sent to jail or hospital arrest with wheel chair. His karma is coming.

  4. They are running out of defenses as they will be charged and jailed in court after the stupid President end his term.

  5. for the sake of 99.99m pinoys let pnoy go, either, let him rest in peace or put him in straight jacket for life. these two scenarios are plausible if his operators pushed him to the limit of another term. now, within few remaining days of his term, reality check is kicking infront of him. be ready to hear for more breakdown in the palace with style..

  6. We need another people power at patalsikin sa puesto ang walang alam sa batas, hindi puede na magiging president uli ng Pilipinas ang corrupt at ang nasa puso ay ang paghihigante.

  7. Everything is possible, but the pilipino people should be vigilant because Noynoy might use his theory of body bags if the BBL will not push throw being unconstitutional so with his alipores around, crises managers, the gov’t. peace committee, OPAPP, his cabinets who conspire with him in favoring MILF/MALAYSIA as they already been bought will implement the plan.. There may be invasion MILF in disguise but it is the Malaysian plan B. So maybe they will try to manipulate that the No-election move scenario will prosper and their plan to detach part of Mindanao per their MILF/MALAYSIA plan A & B. Hoping the military AFP, PNP & DND structures minus GAZMIN will protect the Philippines.

  8. Larry Ifurung on

    His MISSTEPPED on Mamasapano has proven to be his WATERLOO. The time is ticking very fast and there’s NO way shape or form, he can restore his lost popularity let alone his INTEGRITY as a leader. CLINGING ON TO POWER is his only safety net not to go jail but it is REMOTE to ever have a chance to make it happen. Binay may only be his only saviour if he STEPS DOWN NOW! Will Binay continue with the DAANG MATUWID? I really doubt :-(

  9. At first, the thought of the song “Shame and Scandal in the Family” comes to my mind when sister joined show business. When M. Roxas yielded ( favoring B.S.A ), and the victorious PNoy sang “Estudiante Blues”, I had to ponder. Now, it can be revealed: there is such a thing as a curse (like the Kennedy curse) and that, indeed, lightning does strike twice!

  10. The bottom line, We dont want the President who is insane, lunatic, irresponsible and moronic attitude. as per Mr. Banong, remarks . Bakit ayaw matanggap ng noytards na tutoo ang sinasabi ng mga tao..?????

  11. He still has the trust of the people–to extend his term, not in the Phil., but the people I’m referring are the Malaysians. Pnoy is trusted by the Malaysian gov’t for sellling out his own people, and I believer the Malaysians as a whole would accept him with open hands: his father Noynoy, as senator, was the one who exposed Marcos’ plan to regain Sabah; his mother Cory wanted to waive Phil.’s claim over Sabah, fortunately our congress then were comprised mostly of patriots, not like our congress now a rubber stamp of P’noy; and now P’noy who is selling out 1/3 of the Phil. territory–land, water, and air — to Malaysia.

  12. There may also be a scenario where certain elements partial to LP would just eliminate simyon and blame the fracas to Jojo. This may be believed because they can claim that jojo has everything to gain if simyon is out. Albeit, that saves simyon from jail time as he may not be emotionally fit to withstand the rigors behind bars – unless simyon is charged by July 2015 since there is no explicit prohibition in the 1987 constitution that bars suit before an impeachment against an incumbent president contrary to what legal minds claim. It will also be a convenient excuse to file murder charges on the VP and physically keep him out in jail. The objective is to gain sympathy votes for senyor kho rheena. If they can afford to lob a grenage on their fellow liberal partymates in 1971, surely, they can also do a repeat performance in 2016. Didn’t liberals won in the ensuing election?

  13. di nyo nga namalayan, na pag nag fail ang comelec dahil sa automation eh magdeclare ng “no election” dahil di ready hehehe. galeng talaga.

  14. Never again will the people and military allow or tolerate a desecration of the Constitution by way of a “revolution” just to extend the term of Pnoy to avoid criminal prosecution against him and his cabinet men. The people and military will just drag Pnoy and his men out of the Malacanan palace and put them in jail for prosecution for various crimes Pnoy had committed. I doubt if Pnoy has the balls to initiate a “revolution” just to extend his term. Pnoy is scared-like dog whose tail is between his hind legs. Pnoy does not command the loyalty of the military top brass as he is not personally hinged in corruption with any military guy who will protect his rule. Except for Purisima, no other military officer or group will support his unconstitutional stay in Presidency for an extended period. It is possible that Pnoy may be quietly negotiating with BINAY to support him in the 2016 election in return for his protection for criminal prosecution, especially knowing that Roxas has no chance to clinch the presidential post for lack of popular support.

  15. Pedro Maniwang on

    Old system allows the sitting government to corrupt. That is what happening now. Stop the old system to roll, change now.

  16. Jason Salazar on

    maawa ka sa buong bansa Pnoy wag mo ng dagdagan ang pasanin ng mga mamamayang Pilipino. Makonsensya ka sa pinaggagawa at sinasabi mo.

  17. lahat ng pilipino sawa na sa kapalpakan mo kaya wag ka na magbalak mag extend mahiya ka na man!

  18. There is no way President Noy will extend his term. He has done myriad mistakes and proven himself incapable of being the highest official sitting in this country. We should stop his non-sense. I don’t wanna experience his system ever again.

  19. Extending this unthinking dude’s term thru constitutional takeover? Serves the Filipino race right for being unthinking, too passive, too subservient and too permissive.

    Amid the multiple criminal offenses this sycophant masquerading as “president daw” has committed and continue to commit, have we seen a national outrage against the wanton destruction of the rule of law in this country, of the gnawing poverty, of unparalled corruption, of toeing and parroting the line of Malaysia (this meddlesome country is peopled by malays, indians and chinese), etc.? No such outrage. Nothing. Nada.

  20. To the question on how soon can Noynoy be deposed, I told a dearest friend last night that there is really no need for such an effort. I qualified it with, that when one starts wearing lipstick and pinkish makeup over an almost emaciated face then one may not last long. Not really wishing for it, Noynoy Aquino may just leave us so suddenly. He might die while in office. How we address this possibilty is something we should ask ourselves now.

  21. sa mga kapalpakan na ginawa nitong ab0y na ito sino pa ang boboto ulit sakanya malamang ang boboto lang sakanya ang mga kapatid nya hindi kasama ang mga asawa nito at mga kasambahay so yun lang ang total ng votes nya kaya tigilan na nya ang posisyon na yan wala naman syang kwenta

  22. jesus nazario on

    This is OK ! Let him alight from the raging tiger he is riding on. Now as in ngayon na pls ! And let us see what happens ! Abangan how fast events will unfold !

  23. Pilipinos always pray and so their prayers were answered in 2010 , the FORCE
    gave the Philippines BS aquino who in turn led the nation to a straight narrow path
    to hell , maybe if Pilipinos pray more often and longer the FORCE will again grant
    what they really want ? another 6 years term to the beloved BS Aquino , LOL

  24. vagoneto rieles on

    Didn’t the three ‘PDAF’, Senators now detained, deserve to be investigated and indicted? Didn’t the previous President’s questionable practices, then, be looked into? There does not seem to be anything wrong in these persons’ predicaments..so why allude to President Aquino’s impropriety in their cases? The column of ex-presidential spokesman, ex-Senator Tatad.. his sideswipes notwithstanding.. is insightful and logical.. a remarkable piece of analytic journalism. It just seems that justice, rare and far between in its present applications, should be called out when it happens.

  25. Maybe Aquino will lead a coup to remove the Constitution. Or maybe he will appoint Roxas to the Comelec.

  26. Sino naman ang mga bobo na iisiping iboto uli si Noyi-noy sa 2016? Tama na! Follow the Constitution. Isang term lang, no more, tama na.

    Repeat — follow the constitution. (Kaya kung mag-resign bukas si Noynoy, follow the constitution at si Bise Binay ang kapalit. Ganuon ang sabi ng Constitution Pilipinas.)

  27. Alejo Rosete on

    What an excellent analysis – Bravo
    Mabuhay ka kit – continue – – – – continue – – – – continue
    until this stupid President is out of power.

    It is his handlers who are very afraid. Once
    Aquino is out of power, his handlers and/or crisis managers
    will scamper to safety to save their neck.

  28. sonny dela cruz on

    The Filipino people should weighs in now if their President should remain their leader or not. The Philippines should be now at least the 3rd progressive nation in Asia if six years ago a very good, dedicated and a good manager like Richard Gordon was elected president of the Philippines. By this time, maybe the young graduates will not have problems seeking for work locally and many will be much better in life. Now, as I was saying B.S. Aquino doesn’t want to step down comes 2016 and thinking of staying forever. I don’t know if the Filipinos will still keep quiet, numb and not participate for the betterment of the country and for the betterment of their livelihood, then I say GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

  29. There is no way noynoy can command the professional military men who see that the regular soldiers are being bait and feed to the enemies of the republic. And those officials and generals the likes of purisima (general pansit) are the ones that are getting rich because of their connections with noynoy and his cabinet particularly the treacherous 10.
    Not that I am a supporter of former President Arroyo, but those 10 are oppotunists. In the world of the Mafia they were already sank in the bottom of the sea.

  30. There is only one Ferdinand E. Marcos in the Philippines; a weakling, blame-seeking, vindictive, ego-tistical and insensitive, but onion-skinned leader, will never succeed after all the missteps done. It would be too much disgrace to the over 100 million Filipinos.