The scuttlebutt was a long time coming, see my entries for July 3, then July 6, and August 31, in which the opposition began to brace for what finally came true today: some of its leading figures implicated in calling Virgilio Garcillano.
With the closing of the SEA Games this afternoon, the political games have increased in intensity. In Garcillano names solons he spoke with during 2004 polls, Inq7.net reports,
From his protective enclave, Garcillano identified the opposition lawmakers he said he spoke with during the polls as House Minority Floor Leader Francis Escudero, Deputy Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, ParaÃƒÂ±aque Representative Roilo Golez, and Cebu Representative Clavel Martinez.
He also named pro-administration Representatives Benasing Macarambon of Lanao del Sur, Ricky Sandoval of Navotas-Malabon, Danilo Suarez and Rafael Nantes of Quezon province.
The lawyer said to expect 20 to 30 more names, including senators and other officials. At the same time, Palace confident Garcillano will clear ArroyoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s name, Inq7.net also reports.
As I said on July 3, The administration gamble would be: fine, play the tapes, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll play ours, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll all sink together but you will sink more. Consensus among observers seems to be it will help the administration, but some of us think thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a delicious chance here for a more far-reaching consequence to this scandal. Personally, I believe this will not help the President as much as her people might like, but will harm the Estrada camp, which can only be good in the long run. Check-mating the Estrada camp may just improve the prospects of the middle class and business finally taking a stand.
The question, of course, is which side of the mainstream opposition is harmed most -former President Estrada’s or Senator Panfilo Lacson’s. And seeing that, it leaves everyone else having to decide which of the two to ally with. The CPP-NPA-NDF have spoken rather glowingly of the Estradas recently; Bro. Eddie Villanueva, it seems, has cast his lot with Senator Lacson. The “middle forces” remain on the sidelines, but, could it be, as Ellen Tordesillas suggests, there is a convergence towards the extra-constitutional finally taking place?