Mikey hits back: 4 Arroyos can’t make Speaker
by RG Cruz
Denies plot to extend mom in power
MANILA, Philippines – Presidential son Pampanga 2nd District Representative Juan Miguel ‘Mikey’ Macapagal-Arroyo on Wednesday denied an alleged plot by his mother to extend her grip on power.
In an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News, Rep. Arroyo categorically denied the accusation, saying only critics have made the accusation.
He also dismissed talk that the President is trying to politically reincarnate herself as prime minister should efforts to amend the Constitution succeed.
“Critics lang nagsasabi niyan. None whatsoever. We have to follow the Constitution. The Constitution right now has the presidential form of government. There’s no such thing as prime minister,” he said.
Rep. Arroyo also dismissed talks that the President is seeking political leverage against the next president to avoid prosecution for cases during her presidency.
Should President Arroyo clinch a seat in the 15th Congress as representative of Pampanga, she can lead an impeachment complaint against the next president if she can muster the support of 1/3 of the total membership of the lower house of Congress.
But Rep. Arroyo laughed off this talk, which stemmed from the President’s filing of her candidacy for his seat.
Rep. Arroyo, who gave way to his mother’s candidacy, is now the party-list nominee of the Ang Galing Pinoy party-list.
Both candidacies have come under fire from critics who see it as a way of perpetuating the president’s grip on power by making sure she has a substantial number of allies that will at least be enough to impeach a sitting president, if not elect her as speaker of the House.
The speakership contest is now under a lot of scrutiny because of the perceived possibility that it could be Mrs. Arroyo’s ticket back to the presidency should elections fail and no winner is declared in the presidential elections due to a failure of the automation.
The House speaker is in the constitutional line of succession and could very well succeed should the presidency, vice presidency and Senate presidency all be vacant by June 30 as the incumbent ones step down with no clear replacements should elections fail.
4 Arroyos can’t make Speaker
Rep. Arroyo said: “I don’t understand that scenario. Assuming there are 4 Arroyos in Congress, 4 Arroyos cannot make Speaker. It will still be a vote of the majority.”
As it is, the president has at least 160 allies vying for seats in the 252-seat chamber, and this includes at least 5 former Cabinet members.
Aside from mother and son, other Arroyos seeking congressional seats are Mikey’s younger brother, Diosdado ‘Dato’ in Camarines Sur, Uncle Iggy for the 5th district of Negros Occidental, and Aunt Marilou for party-list Ang Kasangga.
Another reason for criticism against Mikey’s run is his stature, which progressive groups have said makes him hardly qualified to represent a marginalized group.
But the younger Arroyo had these to say to them: “Many of those who throw criticism, if you examine their past lives, many of them had charmed childhoods. They live lives of kings and queens. Kumportable buhay before they embraced the doctrine of their party-list.”
Arroyo added: “The choice of a party-list nominee is internal to party-list members, and, of course, the one they will nominate if they accept the nomination. Other party-lists have nothing to do with that. It’s arrogant, unparliamentary and unchristian to castigate. just as they demand respect and understanding they should reciprocate.”
Palace: Arroyos not power hungry
Meanwhile, Malacañang defended the Arroyo family from criticisms they are power hungry after Mikey was named as an official nominee of a party-list group.
Presidential spokesman Ricardo Saludo pointed out the Arroyos aren’t the only family with more than one relative serving in the House of Representatives.
According to Press Secretary Crispulo ‘Jun’ Icban, it’s not surprising that the Arroyo family is into politics since they are skillful politicians.
“It’s a natural thing for a family with exceptional individuals to try to gain office through elections, people ultimately will decide,” Icban, a province mate of the President, said.