The good news is this: Kamaganak Inc. is history. Either the president gave his next of kin a stern warning against meddling. Or, they did it voluntarily. My sense is the latter.
The bad news: Several factions have emerged from the wreckage of the Kamaganak Inc. The latest count says there are more factions jockeying for power in the PNoy administration than the disparate groups under the Rejectionists.
Rejectionists, for those under the age 50, are the numerous factions of the Left that have rejected the orthodox Marxist-Maoist dictum which holds that protracted struggle is the correct and only path to seizing state power. They have been bitter enemies of the solid, determined group still enamored of and dedicated to the orthodoxy.
Samples: The LP Faction, Classmates Inc., the Ma Faction, the Ch Faction plus three or four others angling for influence and leverage. Each of the factions is aiming for dominance, primarily on government appointments. The revelation that a government job is no longer a starvation post and fat cats are all over the bureaucracy can only intensify the jockeying for power.
This can’t go on. President Aquino, whose mere body language sent the Kamaganaks scampering, should likewise send a stern message to the Factions. He cannot be a wavering, indecisive leader being pulled into all sorts of direction.
The projection of strength of character should not be in the perception side alone. It should be a real thing, a breathing, functioning and effective organism.
There should be no dilly-dallying here. The president should crack the whip and ask every faction to toe the line. My way or the highway. The message should be delivered. Why? For the country’s sake. And for his sake.
The “for the country’s sake” equation is easy to explain. Soon, and this is sooner than you think, the problems inherited from the Arroyo administration would be his problems. The inherited problems are deep and the wages very brutal and there are no easy resolutions to these inherited problems. But remember that Filipinos have very short memories. More, their patience has the shelf life of NFA rice.
The intense factionalism would drag down governance into a state of paralysis. Stasis – if this newly-learned term is apt. The factionalism would lead to meager or zero results, especially in the state intervention to better the lives of people.
Three to four months from now, this questions, which are held in check for the time being, will be asked: Dude, where are the jobs? Where are the patches of green? Where are the signs that better life is forthcoming ?
Dude, where is the roadmap?
And we all know the dire results of failed, meandering and wavering leadership. There is abundant literature on this.
The “for his sake” equation is easier to explain.
Right now, there are (to borrow the title of a book on corporate hubris) Barbarians at the Gate that are also holding their desire to terrorize and bring down President Aquino. The suppression is tactical. At this point, at this early stage of the Aquino administration, insurgents would have no credibility. It would be a grave tactical blunder to openly oppose President Aquino with a trust and approval rating of over 80 percent.
Even the most dedicated of his enemies have reined in their anti-Aquino sentiment.
But given the slightest opening, the smallest of possible opportunities, they would commence the insurgency. And they are many.
The pro-Arroyo forces are just biding their time. Even with his political pedigree, President Aquino is viewed as an interloper, an undeserving president, by the Arroyo forces. Given enough ammunition, they would start the parliamentary effort to marginalize President Aquino.
Right now, they are a minority. But remember there are legions of parliamentary fence sitters who would abandon the ruling coalition and shift to the opposition once the anti-Aquino actions gain traction and acceptability.
The timing and the context are important: A crippled economy, a government in disarray would unleash all the pent-up loathing toward the Aquino government. Why, they can even start small, such as an effort to call a national debate on the shift to a parliamentary form of government.
The Left and the other groups dedicated to the seizure of state power or the fragmentation of the republic cannot burn the effigy of President Aquino for now because of his popular support.
Should this popular support wane—and it would surely wane if the fractiousness leads to drift—these anti-government forces would not allow a crisis to go to waste. They would fill in that vacuum and we are quite familiar with their methods and ways.
President Aquino, in facing these forces, would probably have residual support to thwart these two forces.
But what about a mass of disenchanted people chanting EDSA Kwatro?