Shalani Soledad

Speaker Arroyo possible under Villar administration, Aquino says

Speaker Arroyo possible under Villar administration, Aquino says
By Maila Ager

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III doubts if President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo could get enough number to become the next Speaker of the House of Representatives.

But this is possible if his closest rival, Senator Manuel Villar, wins the presidency.

“That might be possible. I cannot speak on his behalf,” Aquino said when asked if Arroyo can get the speakership under a Villar administration.

Aquino attended the proclamation rally of local candidates in Valenzuela City, where girlfriend Shalani Soledad is running anew for councilor.

According to a nationwide count of the Inquirer bureaus, Arroyo will have at least 159 votes for Speaker if her allies seeking congressional seats are elected. With the current membership in the chamber of 268, an aspirant for Speaker needs only a vote of the majority or 135.

Arroyo is seeking a seat in the chamber in the second congressional district in Pampanga. The post is currently being held by her eldest son, Pampanga Representative Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, who plans to continue his stint in the House through the party-list system.

Aquino, standard-bearer of the Liberal Party, said there was not enough number to get Arroyo elected as Speaker.

“As you know, after EDSA there has been no Speaker that has been not allied with the administration. GMA (Arroyo’s initials) has exploited that to a very large extent,” he said.

“I doubt if she is no longer in Malacañang that all the people there will still be her allies,” he added.

To prevent an Arroyo speakership, Aquino said the LP is wooing more candidates for congressmen to their camp.

”Our recruitment is continuous. The people we talked to before, we are expecting them to declare (they are for us),” Aquino said.