Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Fights and Factions in the Cabinet

Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Fights and Factions in the Cabinet

Article excerpt

The consolidated character of the campaign coalition not surprisingly unravelled upon victory, over the battle for control of government turf. Four major factions, which worked quite well as parts of a unified campaign organization, immediately became apparent in the new government. Each of these factions centre on key personalities close to the President who seem to have divergent materialistic agenda (certainly not ideological). Presidential Economic Adviser Robert Aventajado leads the first faction, the second by Estrada's defeated running-mate Edgardo Angara, the third by Estrada's brother-in-law Prof. Raul de Guzman, and the fourth by the Zamora brothers (Ronaldo, the Executive Secretary, and Manuel, a well-known businessman). Appointments to the Cabinet and key government posts were fought over by these four major groups, which initially turned out to be an embarrassment to the government because of reports of conflicting appointments, with several positions having more than one appointee.

It is, thus, not surprising that the Cabinet appointments, mostly based on patronage and clientelism --- as opposed to a fit between personal capability and Cabinet position --- resulted in intense infighting among the four major factions, and other groups as well. …

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