Friday, June 22, 2007
Maguindanao Will Determine the Senate Presidency
Who will control the Senate? The Opposition or the Palace? Believe it or not, I think it literally depends on whether the Comelec proclaims Miguel Zubiri or Koko Pimentel as the 12th winning Senator in the May 14 elections! The latest word is that the Senate is deadlocked even between Pimentel and Villar.
Here why. There are exactly twenty-two Senators already incumbent or proclaimed. Since incumbent Alfredo Lim has won as Mayor of Manila, only one more member will be proclaimed, either Migz Zubiri (Team Unity) or Koko Pimentel (Genuine Opposition) to make a total of 23 Senators in the coming 14th Congress. One insider's tally has the voting split evenly between Nene Pimentel and Manny Villar, as follows:
Manny Villar, Joker Arroyo, Ed Angara, Miriam Defensor, Lito Lapid, Bong Revilla
Juan Ponce Enrile, Gringo Honasan, Dick Gordon, Pia Cayetano, Kiko Pangilinan (Total: 11)
Nene Pimentel, Loren Legarda, Ping Lacson, Jamby Madrigal, Jinggoy Estrada, Sonny Trillanes, Alan Cayetano, Chiz Escudero, Mar Roxas, Noynoy Aquino, Rodolfo Biazon (Total: 11)
Here the dynamics are complex. The voting is being driven by two major factors: (a) There several senators who have an "anybody but..." criterion; (b) There are several senators who are running for President in 2010 or are committed to someone who is; (c) Everyone wants to be in the Majority in order to get Committee Chairmanships and other perks. It's a kind of multiplayer Prisonners Dilemma from Game Theory, in which various decisions have to be made whose consequences depend on everybody else's vote. Thus a deadlocked tie at this stage is completely understandable, even predictable, since they are all waiting for the vote that will determine the Majority.
The thought that the Warlords of Sharif Aguak and dastardly bastards like Lintang Bedol have their filthy hands on the nation's fate leaves me weak. My source fearlessly predicts the following scenario:
(1) The Supreme Court will throw out Koko Pimentel's ill-advised petition for being "premature" and in the nature of "pre-proclamation controversy" over which the Comelec has "exclusive jurisdiction" (according to the Omnibus Election Code).
(2) Weakened by such a setback, the Comelec will brazenly proclaim Migs Zubiri the twelfth winning senator and let Koko file an election protest.
Based on what is known, Koko will probably win that protest...eventually...and serve one day in the Senate sometime in 2013.
If this all happens, Migs Zubiri will decide who the next Senate President will be.