‘Lakas hasn’t discussed House Speaker Arroyo’
MANILA, Philippines – The Lakas-Kampi-CMD has no plan to install President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as speaker of the House of Representatives if she wins her congressional bid in Pampanga on May 10, a ruling party member said Friday.
“Hindi pa pinag-uusapan sa partido namin iyan, pero may mga lumulutang na balita na ganoon (It has not been discussed by the party, but there are rumors about that),” Eastern Samar Gov. Ben Evardone said in an interview on ANC’s Dateline Philippines.
Evardone said President Arroyo has never mentioned her political plans, except for her decision to run as representative of Pampanga’s 2nd District, which is currently being held by her son, Mikey Arroyo.
He said allegations that Mrs. Arroyo plans to win the speakership and use the position to implement Charter change and become prime minister were farfetched.
“It’s a long process,” Evardone said.
He recalled that past presidents have failed to convince Congress to shift to a parliamentary form of government.
The governor, who is also seeking a House seat, said that if Mrs. Arroyo was really planning to become House Speaker, she would have no problems getting the post.
“Ang reality po ay marami po talagang kaalyado ang Pangulo na malakas sa kanilang mga distrito po. Marami ang unopposed so very likely, talang makukuha ng mayorya ng mga kaalyado ng ating Pangulo ang congressional seats sa halalang ito (The reality is a lot of President Arroyo’s allies are strong. Several are unopposed so it’s very likely that President’s allies will get majority of the congressional seats),” Evardone said.
The governor, meanwhile, urged Mrs. Arroyo to actively campaign in Pampanga to further strengthen her congressional bid.
“She should not be too confident. There have been upsets in past elections…She should still campaign,” Evardone said.
Mrs. Arroyo is running against 2 independent candidates, Filipina Sampang and Feliciano Serrano, and Liberal Party candidate Adonis Simpao.
The President was not able to go to Pampanga province on the first day of the local campaign period after First Gentleman Mike Arroyo was brought to the hospital on Thursday due to his heart ailment.
Malacañang has yet to make an announcement about Mrs. Arroyo’s campaign schedule in Pampanga province.