[Opinion] Reworking the political marriage

It was expected that Gilbert Teodoro will clinch the endorsement of the national executive committee (NEC) of the administration party Lakas-Kampi-CMD. Teodoro did not only gather the support of the party stalwarts, he was able to secure the needed support from the local level through the local chief executives, governors, congresspersons, and key leaders of the bureaucracy under the current administration on the road to the NEC meeting.

In fact, even before the NEC convened all indication points out an imminent endorsement of Gilbert Teodoro. It was practically a done deal and Bayani Fernando has been aware of this inclination early on. No less than Prospero Pechay, the party’s chairman for membership and recruitment, crystallized this matter to Bayani Fernando when he said to him that the numbers does not register on his favor. This, in spite of the fact, that Bayani Fernando is an original party member and a loyal servant of the Arroyo administration.

However, these developments are not about or limited to ironing who it will field in the upcoming 2010 presidential elections. More than grooming a possible candidate, the administration is desperately gearing for a united front against its opponents in the 2010 elections. This could only be achieved if the Lakas-Kampi-CMD remains intact and a split is prevented.

While some original members of Lakas-CMD bolted out from the Lakas-Kampi-CMD coalition due to the questionable process in the merging of the party, a significant number of its original members likewise stayed. For how long they will be with the administration party is something which remains to be seen as political realignments continues.

In this juncture, it is apparent that the administration party is aggressively exerting effort that its members hold on to the party. Even with the dismay expressed by Bayani Fernando, fillers have been expressed by party leaders that they still expect him to remain with the party. For sure this will be coupled with negotiations in the coming days in order to ensure he stays on under the administration.

As what many politicians say: politics is about multiplication; it is about gaining friends and not enemies; it is about acquiring the broadest support and not individual backing.

The experience of the current administration in the previous election provides lessons which could explain why it prefers to stay intact. For one, it wants to prevent a clash between the Lakas and Kampi again. In the local level, it also desires to limit the option of going into free zones or “sona libre.”

As it is now, these seemingly preventable circumstances would only be extra possible if the party would put in place adequate mechanisms – mechanisms that is both acceptable and beneficial for all its members.

It is worth noting that the Arroyo’s are the ones that operate the Kampi and were also the ones that pushed for the merger. Although the Kampi have its hands in the finances of the current administration, a strategic factor for the 2010 elections; it does not have the structure and the organization if compared to what the Lakas-CMD has established. The structure and system of the Lakas-CMD is attributed in ensuring that Mrs. Arroyo stay in power in spite of the many attempts to unseat her from power.

Given its tested system, Lakas-CMD is undeniably in a better political position. Yet the entry of Gilbert Teodoro in the scene as its standard bearer for the 2010 presidential elections is touted as the needed factor to provide some semblance of unity and stability in the administration party in its aim to acquire the support from party mates and in order to put up a good fight in the 2010 presidential elections. (Panay News, 16 September 2009)

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