Assuming there is some sort of martial law plan in the works, the bombings in Mindanao will justify a state of emergency. In Mindanao only. Mestizo martial law.
Mestizo martial law is all the administration needs to guarantee victory in 2010, winning votes always come from the usual suspects - ARMM and vicinity. Thus Martial law in that area will come in handy.
A mestizo martial law is easier to sell to the americans. The recent bombings might just convince the CIA’s Panetta that a declaration of a state of emergency is needed over there.
If the Americans do not object, then the idea is to make the declaration and get on with stopping the bombings.
In three months or less the bombings will stop and the state of emergency will be lifted. Now people in affected areas will say “that was not too bad. and it stopped the bombings.” Outsiders will agree. Filipinos who don’t live in ARMM or near it will judge the state of emergency on the results.
By March next year, if the presidential campaign is not going too well, there will be a resumption of the bombings. A state of emergency for ARMM and neighborhood will be reimposed. And this time around it will be easier to do. It stopped the bombings the first time around, right?
Mestizo martial law will be lifted after the election period.
Why a mestizo martial law rather than a full-blooded one?
It will reassure Filipinos, America, and the international community that the country remains democratic. The military will remain under the control of Malacanan, instead of the other way around, because military rule will be temporary and limited to ARMM and trouble areas.
That also means only a limited number of brass will be needed for this operation. The situation that occurred under Marcos, the necessity for a regime of hold-over generals which eventually led to discontent among the officer corps, will not be repeated.
There might be a few strategic hold-overs but it will not become widespread. And so the rest of the brass will still be at the mercy of a promotion system. Loyalty to the commander in chief will still be the norm. The chain of command will be left intact and in full compliance with the Constitution.
However, although mestizo martial will guarantee victory for the administration presidential candidate in 2010, there is no certainty that the new president will go along with “the plan” and step aside for Gloria.
Once the new president is sworn in, he becomes numero uno. He will be giving orders not taking them. So more likely than not, he will be the only Filipino smiling when all is said and done.