Balance of 'Terror'; Power Abdicates Only under Stress of Counter-Power. -- Martin Buber

Manila Bulletin, September 23, 2007 | Go to article overview

Balance of 'Terror'; Power Abdicates Only under Stress of Counter-Power. -- Martin Buber


Byline: ADRIAN E. CRISTOBAL

IT'S a bit melodramatic to describe the proxy war between Speaker Jose de Venecia and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo over the ZTE imbroglio as a "balance of terror," involving the threat of ouster of both from their high perch. It's not as if they were the US and the USSR engaged in a cold war. Nevertheless, there's a chill.

The situation obviously moved Senate President Manuel Villar to warn all sides that any move to remove the Speaker could also provoke the impeachment of the President.

One suddenly remembers the adage that in politics, there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies, only permanent interests. Because of the ZTE controversy, the permanent interests of both the Speaker and the President are clearly at stake. As to which one the fountain will bless depends entirely on how the NBN deal, if not fiasco, will unravel.

It's not all inconceivable that negotiations to lower the temperature is being considered. To experienced observers, JdV is regarded as a resourceful negotiator, a great compromiser.

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Balance of 'Terror'; Power Abdicates Only under Stress of Counter-Power. -- Martin Buber
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