Ally says Arroyo eyeing Speakership
MANILA, Philippines – A member of the Lakas-Kampi CMD on Friday said President Arroyo will seek the Speakership of the House of Representatives if she is elected congresswoman of Pampanga this May.
Malabon Rep. Federico Sandoval II said the plan to install Arroyo as House Speaker could become a reality since Lakas-Kampi members running for Congress still outnumber their rivals from other parties. There are currently 160 Lakas-Kampi members and 9 members of the Arroyo Cabinet who are running for Congress in the May elections.
“This is a stroke of genius. Hindi naisip ng iba na maaaring mangyari pero ngayong lamang if ever na magkakaroon tayo ng isang Presidente na mahahawakan ang ruling coalition dahil siya ay magiging Speaker,” he told ABS-CBN.
Arroyo is seeking to replace her son as representative of the 2nd congressional district of Pampanga. She is the first Philippine president to seek a lower post while still in power.
Critics fear she plans to become Speaker of the House of Representatives and lead Congress into changing the Constitution. They claim that her end goal is to convert the system of government to a parliamentary system, which would give her another shot at returning to power as prime minister.
UP Professor Alex Magno noted that 85% of local elective posts are currently occupied by Lakas-Kampi party members. He said this means that the next President will have to seek an alliance with Lakas-Kampi, which is being led by Arroyo as the party’s president emeritus.
“Without doubt, the next Congress will have a Lakas majority,” he said.
UP professor Clarita Carlos, however, said she expects the results of the May elections to change the dynamic of the House of Representatives. She said many Lakas-Kampi members would most likely switch to the political party of the new President so that they could get pork barrel funds.
She said that in the end, it is still the voters who will decide on the direction of the next administration by electing a new President this May.