Thursday, September 24, 2009

Coitus interruptus

Even as they have found a champion to bear their colours in next year’s elections, it is clear that PaLaKa, otherwise known as the Lakas-Kampi-CMD “Party”, is heading towards legal shoals that will mean they cannot officially bed with each other.

Lakas founding fathers Fidel Valdez Ramos and Jose de Venecia are questioning the marriage officiated by no less than Dona Gloria at the Manila Hotel some two months back. Ramos rejected the proferred position of Chair Emeritus of PaLaKa, preferring to retain the title only insofar as Lakas-CMD is concerned. Joe de V went to the Comelec to question the political copulation of the “party of thieves” as Teddy Boy Locsin calls it, and the “party of the immoderately greedy” as everyone and his uncle describes Kampi.

Even Sen. Migs Zubiri is in a quandary. There were supposed to be regional consultations, but these were simply done away with because well, the Dona wanted everything rushed. What for, she herself is silent about. In any case, before her, Ronnie Puno and Ed Ermita, Political Adviser Gabby Claudio simply proclaimed PaLaKa, and eased out Migs Zubiri to become himself the secretary-general of the newly “merged” party.

Thereafter, the “anointed”, Gilbert Cojuangco Teodoro, proudly took his oath as the newest member of the PaLaKa. At about the same time, Joe de V was questioning before the Comelec the official persona of PaLaKa.

Claudio finds De Venecia’s petition queer. “We have always been open in discussing matters with them. We talked about the merger for two years and we never received objections from them”, he declared.

The answer ought to be obvious, except that to preserve some façade of unity, especially with FVR, who, aside from being a former president, has some international cachet, PaLaKa cannot “yet” afford to displease him frontally. So Claudio blames JDV, whose disenchantment with Dona Gloria started with some botched particion de bienes in Shenzhen that his son Joey could not stomach. Dona Gloria y sus hijos engineered JDV’s fall from the speakership, so now he is throwing a legal monkey wrench on PaLaKa.

If Comelec agrees with Claudio, Joe de V will go to the Supreme Court. So by November 30, there will yet be no PaLaKa to register candidates with.

But not to worry, Ronnie the Tree, putative vice-president of the republic under Gibo or whoever, says. If they (Comelec) do not bless the marriage, then guess what will remain, he asks with an impish smile. “Nagdilang-anghel ka”, Ronnie told the mediaman who asked the question. “Kampi” of course. And that’s headed by Ronnie the Tree.

But wait! Ed Ermita, who is an original Lakas, probably knows that Kampi will have to be the flag of convenience, but won’t necessarily bow to Ronnie the Tree. Publicly he muses about Ate Vi, her comprovinciano by affinity, the incumbent governor of Batangas, as Gibo’s Vice-president. He, he, he. Two birds with one shot from Ermita’s tirador --- Gov. Vi teams up with Gibo, thereby dislodging poor Ronnie, and Ermita gets his daughter, graduating Rep. Eileen Ermita-Buhain, to become the new governess of their huge province.

Never mind if Lakas can no longer bed with Kampi. If coitus is interrupted, there’s always onanism. So G-i-b-o, playfully defined as Gloria’s Interest Before Others, will be the presidential candidate of Kampi, and Ronnie his veep. The National Security Team. They might as well draft Jovito Palparan into their senatorial team. If he wins, he would make a “strong” Senate President. And isn’t Hermogenes Esperon running for congressman to represent my friend Conrad Estrella’s district? Best choice for Speaker of the House under the National Security Team. After all, Ate Vi, who would have softened the team somewhat, will not bite.

* * *

But what’s this about another Hermogenes, Ebdane with the “Jun”? This space was first in writing some two months back that he would be the latest addition to the list of presidentialities. Nobody believed me then. Was I joking?

Well, the joke is now upon us. Indeed, Jun Ebdane wants to be president of the benighted land. He is the “Tamang Daan” in 2010, or so his cute print ads proclaim. Now who’s bright idea is this? Is this an FVR play? After all, Ebdane was FVR’s close-in, one whose loyalty is treasured by Tabako.

So under what flag will Ebdane run? Why Lakas, of course --- the disjointed half of PaLaKa. With whose blessings? FVR? Or is this also a Glory-be play, just to discombobulate the political situation eight months before elections?

But what about Joe de V? He has shacked up with Manny Villar long before. He wants the “renegade” Lakas, otherwise known as the ageing “origs” to coalesce with the Nacionalista Party, and lend elder trapo influence to the young trapos of Villar. That should be fun.

One wonders whereof Jun Ebdane dreams. His program? “Sesementuhin ko lahat ng mukha niyo!” His handlers? Why, there’s always Virgilio Garcillano, who resides in Subic most of the time, watching over its customs examiners. Then he periodically sashays into Baungon in Bukidnon, to oversee his farm, and hold conferences with his loyal platoon of Comelec operators.

How will Garci operate the PCOS of Venezuela? Like the “transformer”, he will just mutate himself into a thousand pieces, maybe more, and embed himself in the software, in the memory cards.

* * *

I tell you. All these candidates are just red herrings. There are still some tricks up the Dona’s sleeves. It’s really funny, how the marriage of convenience between Lakas and Kampi is disintegrating even without copulation. Akala mo naman may difference between 0.2 and 1%, between Gibo’s numbers and Ronnie’s in the VP race. Or between 0.2 and zero, which is where Jun Ebdane must be at this point in time. Remove the potential of a thousand or ten thousand Garcis, there’s no way Gibo-Ronnie or Gibo-Vi even, or Jun-Ronnie and even Jun-Vi could possibly win the public’s affection.

Like the bored opera watcher always says, “it ain’t over till the fat lady sings”, and in the benighted land, she ain’t so fat, she’s tiny and cute, but she certainly won’t sing, not just yet.