War on Two Fronts; "A House Divided against Itself Cannot Stand." - Abraham Lincoln
Byline: HECTOR R.R. VILLANUEVA
AS we had predicted even during the May 2007 midterm elections, her detractors were unlikely to leave her alone in peace to pursue her sustainable economic momentum and political reforms, despite her post-election appeal for unity, reconciliation, and cooperation.
First, in the north in Manila, congressmen and senators, particularly Sen. Panfilo Lacson, still to-be-seated Sen. Antonio Trillanes, Blue Ribbon Committee Chair, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, and Sen. Aquilino Pimentel, are sharpening their knives and looking for issues to raise against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and/or members of her family ranging from the revival of the tragic-comedy "Hello Garci" tapes to the Oakwood incident, to bank deposits in Germany, to North Rail issue to textbook scandal, ZTE/broadband controversy, and others.
Clearly, all these issues are fishing expeditions and publicity-propelled of the Opposition to satisfy their respective agenda and project their ambitions whatever that maybe.
It goes without saying that these distractions will divert people's attention, and derail the economic momentum which this country can ill-afford at a time when the global economy is showing instability and increased volatility.
At this point, despite the mortgage financial crisis in the United States and roller-coaster trends on Wall Street, the Philippine economy has been surprisingly bouyant and resilient which is a good omen.
Second, in the south in southern Mindanao, the emerging scenario is cause for great concern owing to its deep-seated roots of discontent, and vulnerability to international terrorism and external pressure.
For example, as Bruce Riedel, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, opined in Foreign Affairs, "By rushing into Iraq instead of finishing off the hunt for Osama bin Laden, Washington has unwittingly helped its enemies, with al-Qaeda having more bases, more partners, and more followers today than on the eve of 9/11. …