Only good news is possible change to constitution, says US think-tank President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo may not escape the crisis enveloping her leadership, according to a Washington-based think-tank whose position on foreign policy closely reflects that of the White House. Dana Dillon, senior policy analyst on Southeast Asia for the Heritage Foundation, believes Mrs Arroyo might not last much longer in office. 'Caught on tape discussing her re-election with an election official, and with her husband allegedly involved in a gambling scam, Mrs Arroyo is in political hot water and may not finish her term,' he warns. In a memo entitled 'Crisis in the Philippines: What does it mean for the US?', he warns: 'Chinese influence will continue to expand while Arroyo fights for her political life.' The Arroyo government takes the conservative group very seriously, unlike other entities. Just two months ago, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo delivered a long policy speech at the foundation's headquarters. At that time, Mr Romulo justified Manila's growing closeness to China as 'the way forward' and said China should be viewed as 'a powerful stabilising force for the region and the world'. He also boasted that a state visit to Manila by President Hu Jintao had yielded US$1.7 billion worth of investments. Mr Dillon's memo was apparently not swayed by Mr Romulo's speech. It says that with her presidency in dire straits, 'Arroyo will gladly accept more largesse from Beijing'. It says the Philippines' economic recovery and war on terrorism will take a back seat in the 'descent into political chaos'. Mr Dillon doubts the economic drift will significantly improve if Vice-President Noli de Castro takes over, since he has 'loyally promoted Arroyo's version of economic development and her close co-operation with China'. Although Mr Dillon sees 'little chance Arroyo will be successfully impeached', he does not set out his thinking on how the president is likely to be unseated. The only 'good news' according to Mr Dillon is the possibility that the Philippine constitution will be changed and its numerous restrictions against foreign investment removed. Washington, if asked, should help the Philippines by funding a change in its charter and send its experts in constitutional law. The memo does not say whether or not Mr Dillon thinks the Bush administration will back the embattled president. Instead, he advises that 'statements from Washington should ... avoid any appearance of partisanship' and help 'advance the process [of resolving the current political crisis] without crossing the boundaries of Philippine sovereignty, responsibility and leadership'. 'It is in America's interest that the current political crisis pass without damaging US-Philippine relations,' he writes.