For many years in the past two decades, we have seen Lakas NUCD, along wth its alliances with other parties, ruled the Philippine politics, taking most of the major positions in the government. I still believe, its height came during the leadership of its founders, the then President Fidel V. Ramos and former House Speaker Jose de Venecia. Why? Because corruption issues against it member politicians were not as bad as it is now, however, whether or not, they were good leaders, its none of my concern at this time, in this topic.
With the rise in power of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whom at the beginning, everyone, includng myself, thought was the Philippine’s saving angel from the hands, of who we thought was the evil, Joseph Ejercito Estrada, due to his issues of corruption which later resulted to his conviction of plunder, only to realize after not too long, that the saving angel that we thought, is later, to be called an “evil”, by her own ally, with the expose of Jun Losada. Whether or not it is true, again, its none of my concern, at this time, in this topic.
We saw, how the ruling party rose into power, it was never imagined that time will come it will struggle to survive, and the possibility of it, gaining the most important position in the House of Representatives, is almost impossible. Next week, we will witness, who, will be declared the next House Speaker, after solons will elect from among themselves, their next leader. However, Lakas’ candidate, long time congressman Edsel Lagman of Bicol, according to the latest update, has only have about 40 votes, and he needs about 100 more, to get the Speakership against his most likely only opponent LP’s Sonny Belmonte, who have expressed optimism to win, many weeks ago.
With Lakas, disintegrating into three factions now, namely the Andaya group headed by former Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya, who is a former LP member and thus, is likely to rejoin his former party; the Puno bloc identified with former DILG Secretary Ronaldo Puno, composed of congressmen who were original members of the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino, had declared support for Belmonte but has opted to remain members of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD. And lastly, the loyal Arroyo lawmakers, who are mostly original members of the Lakas-CMD. Given the scenario, there is really a sure uncertainty, in lakas, winning the House Leadership, next week when the chamber elects it leader for the 15th Congress. Even, the rumor that there are at least a dozen Lakas-Kampi-CMD solons who have previously identified themselves as supporters of Liberal Party (LP) speakership bet, Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. of Quezon City, have changed their minds after failing to get the committee assignments they prefer, is not a guarantee for Lagman to win.
Lagman’s newly launched program called “Balik Lakas”, for party members who have expressed support for Belmonte, but opted to remain with Lakas-Kampi-CMD is hopeful to win back support. In my own language, this program is designed to counter act the “Balimbing” and the “Sipsip” politicians, who are trying to do their most desperate moves to either sell their votes, or uphold their personal interests.
Meanwhile, former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is the incumbent Chairperson of the party, in her bid to win back Lakas-Kampi-CMD partymates in the Lower House, has sent invitations for a team building seminar this weekend at Stotsenberg Hotel at Clark Airbase in Angeles City.
Will she be able to succeed in reuniting the organization before it crumbles down for good? What is the deal at the guise of the Team Building Seminar? How effective will her art of politics be, after all that happend? These are the questions that we need answers after the new Speaker of the House of Representatives of the 15th Congress is elected next week.