In a country where blood is thicker than water, this new attempt to unseat Speaker Jose De Venecia comes as no surprise at all.For while the President herself has officially remained mum on the ZTE Broadband Deal Controversy, the rest of the First Family has done all the talking and throwing of counter-brickbats to whistle-blower Joey De Venecia. So we actually do have an idea of what the President thinks of the Speaker’s possible involvement over Joey’s whistle-blowing.
Yet, Malacanang has been careful to separate Joey from his father, the Speaker, and carefully target remarks to the younger De Venecia. Meanwhile, the Speaker has distanced himself from his son, and says he’s his own man.
But obviously, Malacanang wasn’t too convinced from the very beginning, citing what we know very well as Filipino family values. From the Cabinet secretaries’ remarks, they were hoping, if not expecting the Speaker to dictate or advice his son to withdraw his accusations. With or without giving advice, there was no stopping Joey.
Now, it may just be the perfect time for revenge, and it really would not be any surprise if the anti-JDV forces at the lower house finally unseat him. A caucus has been called today. But if things don’t get ironed out, all it now takes is an go-signal from the President herself. If not, they can simply take the cue from Mikey at Dato. Or the First Gentleman.
JDV has always been one of PGMA’s staunchest, most reliable, and most influential allies. But come to think of it, the President may not need De Venecia anymore to survive politically and finish her term in 2010.
Thanks to this Speaker, PGMA has survived three impeachment complaints. A fourth attempt will not succeed and will just be ignored by the general public, now highly skeptical about the process. Elections are also just barely two years away. So why waste time on impeachment? Why would the ambitious presidentiables pay attention to another impeachment, when they already are already too busy campaigning for 2010?
Davao City Rep. Prospero Nograles himself, who is now challenging JDV, also has made a good point a few months back. If the President and JDV do have a falling out, the administration congressmen will not side with JDV. They will definitely side with the President, and not the Speaker. It is the President after all who distributes their Pork Barrel. And administration lawmakers certainly don’t want to experience a drought of funds, which was the plight of opposition solons in the 13th Congress, who pushed for Arroyo’s impeachment.
Still, one should not underestimate the political savvy of De Venecia, who after all, has the distinction of being a fifth-time Speaker. Surely, he should still have loyal lawmakers behind his back. He could certainly be a whistle-blower himself. It would also depend on what JDV could promise lawmakers in return for their continued support, and whether he would be finally be able to solve the gripes of many lawmakers.
So at the end of this day, nothing is certain. We’re left to wait and see how things unfold. As usual, in politics, there are no permanent friends and enemies. And at the end of the day — where again is principled politics in all of this?