By Raïssa Robles
This Year 2012, or the Year of the Black Water Dragon, one Chinese horoscope predicts that “something unexpected will happen.”
That’s putting it mildly if applied to rapidly unfolding political events in the country.
Long before the dragon sets foot on the celestial plain this February 4, two events have already occurred that would affect the rest of the year.
First is the arrest and hospital detention of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Second is the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona by members of the House of Representatives. Should political fortune favor either Arroyo or Corona or both of them, President Benigno Aquino III will be in hot water – likely facing a serious threat of impeachment himself starting this July.
His political troubles won’t necessarily come from Mrs Arroyo, according to Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reforms. Casiple believes Arroyo is no longer the main threat: “On her own, she can’t do it,” meaning topple Aquino from the presidency.
However, “she’s still a threat” if she combines forces with others and contributes her extensive network and financial resources, he said.
A prominent western businessman who spoke on condition of anonymity gave an assessment of Arroyo similar to that of Casiple. He said he based this on the glaring absence of civilian protests on the day Arroyo was transported to a military hospital. He described this as “a manifestation of her consistent unpopularity as measured by two major public opinion pollsters or surveys.”
However, she is widely believed to be well-funded, he said.
He and Casiple expressed the belief that Arroyo on her own can no longer muster widespread political support from the masses, the politicians and the military in order to topple PNoy – Aquino’s popular nickname.
She can only bank on the expectation that Aquino’s popularity would plummet by the second half of this year, as what has happened to previous presidents. To political science professor Benito Lim, that will happen “when (food and gas) prices go up – PNoy will not be popular.”
In addition, Lim said efforts are afoot “to cut down the popularity of the President” by raising issues against him such as his delayed visit to typhoon-ravaged cities, the continued rise in poverty and his defiance of the Supreme Court order allowing Mrs Arroyo to travel abroad.
Events are now centered on the actions of President Aquino, not Arroyo. Casiple explained that “the situation is physically transitioning into an Aquino-dominated situation but in the context of the 2016 (presidential) elections.”
“Those who are maneuvering to run for the presidency in 2016 are trying to fish in troubled waters,” he said, obviously referring to Vice-President Jejomar Binay, the only politician who has openly declared his intention to run for president in 2016.
Casiple noted that by July this year, Binay will be thrust into a unique constitutional situation. Under the 1987 Constitution, if the sitting president should vacate his office for whatever reason two years and one day after assuming office, the vice-president who succeeds him can still run for a full six-year presidential term.
July 1, 2012 will mark President Aquino’s two years and one day in office.
“This is precisely the scenario that GMA (Arroyo) took advantage of when she decided to run again in 2004” after replacing Estrada in January 2001, Casiple said.
“Definitely, the people around Binay are thinking of that…but there’s no indication Binay or anyone close to him are doing something about it,” Casiple said.
One way to trigger such a scenario is to impeach Aquino in the same way Estrada was impeached in the year 2000. Casiple disclosed that “even now, there are talks going on in the House (of Representatives) about a possible impeachment of President Aquino (come July). Some of them are collecting articles of impeachment….the president will be vulnerable by then. “
Some Catholic bishops have also openly talked about impeaching Aquino for defying the Supreme Court on the matter of Arroyo’s travel abroad.
In a lightning move last year, congressional allies of Aquino impeached Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. He was accused, among others, of ill-gotten wealth and issuing decisions favoring Arroyo.
If the Senate acquits Corona, this may well pave the way for Aquino’s own impeachment – using as grounds his open defiance of the Supreme Court and well-publicized efforts to unseat Corona as chief justice.
Should this happen, Arroyo, who is now a congresswoman “doesn’t have a choice but to play because she’s not decisive anymore,” Casiple said. He noted that “in the developing political situation, there are those who can make use of it more than she can.”
But just as Arroyo weathered several impeachment attempts against her, Aquino is bound to use the very same political weapons that Arroyo had used to neutralize all impeachment threats – through the grant of political favors and pork barrel funds.
One potent weapon Arroyo never had, but which Aquino continues to enjoy to this day is the wellspring of popular support. This partly stems from the fact that his first two years in office were marked with a stunning absence of any money scandal involving any member of his official family – that had marred the two previous administrations.
How will Aquino, a Metal Rat in the Chinese zodiac, fare in the Year of the Black Water Dragon?
Dramatic changes have happened at least thrice during the Year of the Dragon in Philippine history.
On January 30,1965 during the Year of the Dragon, Ferdinand Marcos was overwhelmingly elected president. He soon began quietly plotting to stay in power forever and stashing money in a secret Swiss bank account under the alias ‘William Saunders’.
Again, in the Year of the Dragon, a Philippine president was impeached and unseated for the first time. Then President Joseph Estrada was impeached by the House of Representatives on November 13, 2000 and the military turned against him on January 19, 2001 – or four days before the Year of the Dragon officially ended.
In the Year of the Dragon this 2012, one Chinese horoscope has predicted that Metal Rats like Aquino (born February 8, 1960) are bound to have a “fair year”, though one not marked with “outstanding achievement.” Meaning, “it only means you might get less return than you expected even if you put more effort in it.”
One alleged local psychic, who had earlier predicted that Senator Manuel Villar would win the presidency, lately claimed that Aquino would not finish his term.
Casiple disagreed with his forecast, saying: “The opposition is waiting for him (Aquino) to stumble. But I think he will go the whole term. I’m not saying it will be easy. There will be challenges along the way.”
[Note: This article first appeared in the January 2012 issue of Asian Dragon magazine. I am posting it with the magazine’s permission. Also, my thanks to those of my commenters who first raised the July 1, 2012 constitutional temptation scenario for VP Binay.]
nelson ongpauco says
ang mga chinese horoscope na yan ay palabas lang ng chinese para bilhin ng pinoy ang mga paninda nila, gaya ng mga dragon mga suwerteng bagay na ipinagbibili nila mga prutas tikoy at iba [pang pagkain ,na hindi naman totoo.sa mga taong sumusunod sa mga sinssabi ng chinese horoscope nagkatotoo ba nabago ba ang buhay ninyo,ang dapat gawin ng tao ay magbago ng ugali ,,magipon ng pera ,magnegosyo ,mag-aral hindi katulad ng mga tao pagsahod inuman na puro utang pagsiningil mo naman galit pa..puro bili ng mga kayabangan …kaya walang asenso….manga politiko puro korakot…sarili lang kapakanan ang iniisip…kaya mga kababayan magbago natayo para gumanda ang buhay natin..
nelson ongpauco says
may kasabihan ang mga chinese na ang maliit na tao ay sinungaling sa sampung sinabi isa lang ang totoo.maga,ling lang manguto sa tao pagkatalikod mo tatawatawa dahil may nautong utuuto na naniniwala sa kaniya..aayuna kang aayunan tapos hindi naman sinusonod ang sinabi..doble kara yan..sana bago kayo maniwala kay binay obserbahan muna ninyo sya kung totoo ang sinasabi nya..lahat ng pol.itiko parepareho..
Has the SC ruled previously that confidentiality in reference to ‘Foreign Currency Deposits Law does not assure absolute confidentiality of dollar accounts’, that it only applies to foreigners but not to Filipino account holders‘?
Is the Supreme Court consistent in dispensing judgments to issue TROs?
FINALLY, Rudy Fariñas’ testosterone is in the right place – go for it! The sovereign people are behind you manong.
NO GUTS NO GLORY! Bring out the Fariñas’ good side manong. Sige lat taa!
THIS IS THE WAY TO DEAL WITH SCALAWAGS IN CLOWN ROBES!
IF this challenge pushes through, the Articles of Impeachment will be better crafted.
There were public feelers or news spin wheelers in parallel to R Corona that some or all of GMA Supreme Court Justice appointees might ALSO be impeached.
This could be the catalyst to spearhead in eradicating the remainder of GMA appointees in the Supeme Court! NOT AN EASY BALL GAME TO PLAY, BUT DOABLE to pull it off.
It takes magnanimous guts by the House of Representatives to back and support Representative Rudy Fariñas’ call to his Congress peers, fellow solons to be consistent.
The current House-Prosecutors have learned a lot of lessons, not to repeat to this declaration of Representative Rudy Fariñas.
This time, he would like to take the Lead in prosecuting, not one but 8!
Baka naman, pautot lang ni Rep Fariñas eto. O dili kaya nabibigla lang.
HUWAG NAMAN SANA Manong!
Apay sika iti maka dalus dita Supreme Court.
All Senators and Congressmen of the Legislative Branch are voted nationally and by their respective constituents to represent their common interests in The House, whether it maybe the Congress or the Senate.
Isn’t it just right and fair for their side of the House to compliment each other (Sens & Cens) the opportunity to Chair and Lead their cause of actions?
Rotate the Senate-Impeachment Chairperson
It would serve the better interest of the R Corona Impeachment, especially the sovereign people, to have different Senate-Judges to Chair, handle and oversee the remaining Articles of Impeachment.
To allay the misperception of bias or what appears as a ‘favored’ exclusion (although cast for a vote) of certain clause(s) (e.g. Article II.4) by the current Chair (raised to vote by Senator JP Enrile) the other Senator-Judges must be given the opportunity to seat as Chair for the remaining Articles.
We know that not all Senators are Lawyers and/or with disparity of experiences as such between Senators. For one to Chair, it is not incumbent that a Senator must be a lawyer. The fundamental requisite is of sound of mind, capable of prudent reasoning, able to weigh both panel’s (pro, def) of merits & faults. [some commenters can spin these premise, if you please – thanks].
Rotate the House-Prosecutor, Lead
The overwhelming number of Articles of Impeachment is too much to trot for a lone Lead House-Prosecutor (although with some support from fellow solons, private lawyers), it is but necessary to delegate the leading prosecuting hand for each Article to other House-Prosecutors.
The Fish Net for all 8 Articles is too much for one lead to pull. One Lead Prosecutor is up against a veteran, and a professor. Regardless of who has the most legal supporters, luminaries to back the Lead. The past 11 days of Senate-Impeachment for one Lead is obviously overbearing for one, the current Lead needs a relief, let other H-Prosecutors take some of the helm.
This is not a lone wolf’s single hook, line and sinker crusade. It is a collective Representatives’ call to achieve a better result for the people. Even just one Article to win – clear, incontrovertible & convincing.
Due to limited space for commenters, can’t expound further. Can’t take advantage of Raïssa’s tolerance and kindness.
re ‘One Lead Prosecutor is up against a veteran, and a professor.’
One Lead Prosecutor is up against, an ex-Supreme Court Associate Justice, a veteran, and a law professor. Although called from retirement, the age gap wasn’t a deterrent to score ‘political’ points.
Rotate the House-Prosecutor, Lead
If the House-Prosecutors can consider this, the other assigned Lead Prosecutor(s) for the other Articles of Impeachment may now have sufficient time to prepare, research, brain-storm and be coached by private but more experienced trial Lawyers.
There would be lapses, or short of skills, between Articles and Lead(ers), but surely, rationale Congressmen can coordinate, support their Prosecution Lead(ers) to excel.
The House-Prosecution can readily give advance memo, schedules or related info to the Senate-Judges of their Articles for hearing, upcoming/available witnesses, material evidences, request for subpoenas, & so forth. The Defense would just have to catch up.
Hopefully, it could be finished by March 23, 2012.
IF the House-Prosecutors hasn’t been confident of late about their Article II, R Corona is justifiably guilty if you can just rationalized your … The Defense’s strategy of late are merely using distractions, use of skewed legalistic (letter for word), interpretations of ….
The SENATE-JUDGES must always bear in mind that this is a political process and exercise. (Other commenting threads in this blog have repeatedly submitted these one-liner)
Source: Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News Posted at 02/06/2012 1:37 PM | Updated as of 02/06/2012 6:25 PM
Revamp or change the LEAD House Prosecutor per Article schedules, kailangan kung masa-sayos ang possibilidad na may maipanalo kahit isa. Hindi lang ‘information overload’ kundi kulang sa tulog ang isang LEAD kada Artikulo.
Puwede bang gumamit ng Bluetooth na headset sa Senado?
Para may monitor ang prosekutor habang nakatayo sa pulpito mula sa kapartido, sasabihan na lang pabulong para walang makaligtaan.
Wala naman ata sa ‘Rules of Court’ na bawal gumamit ng ‘Bluetooth headset’.
Maraming “sleepers” si Arroyo???
yun meralco case scandal sa CA between Sabio(ateneo-utopian) and Roxas(a UP-sigmarhoan)..pero yung anak ni Sabio ay opus deihindi kaya itong Utopian aligned sa Vatican? but then the INC confirms nor denies a corona alignment…hehe!
ROMAN RAMA GUERRERO says
There is no way PNoy could be impeached nor ousted through People Power. The 4 years remainder of his term that begins precisely at 12:01pm; June 30, 2012 also marks the opening of the door for a possible 10 years Binay Presidency up to 2012 i.e. after getting elected for another 6 years in 2016 WHILE SITTING IN OFFICE. That was the interpretation of Sec. 4(3); Art. VII of the Constitution which was followed by GMA who stayed as President for close to 9 1/2 years – from January 20, 2001 to June 30, 2012 as first beneficiary of that flawed constitutional provision.
VP Binay for sure would be in a “damned if he do and damned if he doesn’t” situation as he shall always remain the legal second beneficiary of that erroneous and ab initio NULL AND VOID provision. Unless corrected before that precise time, PNoy shall be exposed like a sitting duck to anybody’s plot to get rid of him. And, by God, he has earned so many powerful enemies lately with motives strong enough to oust him – fair or foul – with somebody who would be more sympathetic to them who wants burial at the LNMB and travel abroad for medical treatment
ROMAN RAMA GUERRERO says
Sorry, some mix-up on dates.”Binay presidency up to 2022 not 2012″ and “GMA stayed as president — from January 20, 2001 to June 30, 2010 not 2012”
The article did not mention VP Binay’s sign in the Chinese calendar and how he will fare in 2012 Year of Black Water Dragon. I suggest that the soothsayers be asked this information so that we could compare it with PNoy’s and see if there is a match.
Juan Alila says
LOL! Kung ang ganitong hulahula ay may katutuhanan. Alam nyo po ba na dapat nahulaan na nila ano lalabas bukas sa Lotto.
Parang kulam daw… sus. kadaming namatay dahil kagagawan ng kilalang mga tao. bakit walang may nagkulam dito sa kanila? kathang isip at pang komiks.
Wag po kayo magpaniwala dito Ms Raissa… Itoy larong intsik lamang, katuwaan. Dba parang fortune cookies? hehehe………….
Mark Pere Madrona says
Mam Raissa, just a super minor correction. December 30, 1965 po nagstart ang term of office ni Ferdinand Marcos. Elections were held that November. :-)