Thursday, June 16, 2005

Sun Tzu Advice No. 9: "Ma'am we have a new crisis."

Sun Tzu says, "Just as water shapes itself to the ground an army should manage its victory in accordance with the situation of the enemy. Just as water has no constant shape, so in warfare there are no rules."

GMA is no longer in an immediate danger of being ousted. The people have not taken the streets, and there are no crowds converging in any historic site. Likewise, the opposition failed to find a leader to coordinate the assaults. But the public opinion weighs heavily against the President. This is going to be very nasty.

We can expect the President and the First Family to become the butt of jokes. She is going to be lampooned on the radio, tv, newspapers and the internet. Already the "Hello Garci" ringtones are a hit. Iggy Boy's "walang bagyo-bagyo sa 'kin" statement is now animating conversations everywhere. A lot of creative energy is going to be spent making fun of the First Family in the grand tradition of Plaridel and Dimasalang. How can she possibly live with it? Her people would address her as her Excellency when she's talking to them , and they would be calling her a cheater when she turns her back. Can she trust that her bodyguards would not have the "Hello Garci" ringtones on their cellphones? Trouble is, how long are the jokes going to last? She still has a full five years in her term. It is going to be an emotional hell.

The DOJ and the NBI have apparently been instructed to run after people distributing the wiretapped tapes. But with the current technology that allows anyone with a computer to download copies on the internet, it would be impossible to capture all those copies. Further, the legal disputes that the effort will create is going to be another potential source of embarassment. If they reach the Supreme Court, these cases would serve as written history for future generations to remember a President who ordered a Comelec commissioner around during her reelection. This reminds me of Richard Nixon. What do we remember about him but only the freshman law school staple, US vs. Nixon ? All that Nixon did as President of the US are just footnotes to this case, or mere embellishments in the movies that the Watergate Scandal spawned.

This brings me back to Marcos and his own Comelec back in the 1986 snap elections. The Filipino people knew Marcos controlled the Comelec, but no direct evidence against Marcos was ever produced. GMA has three hours of telephone conversations with Garci. It makes Marcos look like an amateur. History will not be kind.

Perhaps, GMA will manage to stay as President. But the people will remember her unkindly. Ma'am we have a new crisis.

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