Tuesday, October 02, 2007 [ 8:29 PM ]
ABALOS' RESIGNATION, A TACTICAL MOVE?
Though very much urged, the resignation of Benjamin Abalos as comelec chair still surprised a lot of people. From his sympathizers to his detractors and even the spectators watching the development of the controversy Abalos is allegedly involved with, never expected that such an act will be made by him.
Just weeks ago, after the controversy in the National Broadband Network project erupted, Abalos was firm in his stand that he will never resign from his position despite the huge clamor of different groups calling for it. He said that resignation is an acceptance of defeat and an admission of guilt. The events that followed this was of course the investigation of the senate on Abalos’ involvement in the NBN deal as per Joey De Venecia III’s testimony and the filing of an impeachment case against him by Ilo-ilo Vice Governor Rolex Suplico duly endorsed by three house representatives.
The unfolding of these events was very much anticipated, and when everyone is just waiting for either the result of the senate investigation or the progress of the impeachment complaint, Abalos resigned. He said, contrary to what he said before, that it was not an admission of guilt but just his way of clearing his name. He also said that the controversy of the broadband project has hounded his family and affected them negatively.
Many speculations about the resignation have surfaced minutes after Abalos publicly announced it. Some sympathized with him but others were still suspicious. Of course, no one can really blame the public for doubting the sincerity of the act given the way the administration and its allies have tried to hide the truth through their anomalous moves. I agree that the resignation was an act of statesmanship and I salute him for that even if it was long overdue. I was surprised by it and so I thought of some possible reasons of why he did it.
First is maybe he is expecting the senate investigation to stop and consider the issue moot and academic after his resignation. If this is what he is thinking, then he obviously miscalculated because the senators are still adamant to continue its probe. Also, with the coincidence of his resignation and the arrival of the first gentleman, it is also possible that he didn’t really want to resign but just forced to; possibly by the people or person or woman (most possible) who wants to protect the first gentleman from the hands of the senate. Maybe it is them who miscalculated about the senate investigation and not Abalos.
Second possibility is that maybe Abalos is anxious about the impeachment complaint filed against him. Though still far from the number of signatures required to transmit it to the senate, he may not be brave enough to take the risk. He knows of course that even after the complaint is dropped due to his resignation, he may not be completely out of the woods yet. He knows that the case against him may still be dragged to the ombudsman but he would rather take his chances there than in congress. With how the ombudsman conducted its investigation on some controversial issues such as the Mega Pacific deal and Joc Joc Bolante’s case, resignation could be his better option.
Third is that it is also likely that Abalos was forced to resign by the president to avoid a showdown of power between her and speaker Jose De Venecia. Since it is JDV3 against Abalos, it is obvious that the speaker will favor his son even if the president says otherwise. GMA knows the power of JDV in the house and she may not want a clash with him yet. With the issue of legitimacy still hounding this administration, an impeachment complaint against the president can still be revived and if that happened, to lost her most powerful ally in the house is a nightmare she don’t want to happen.