By Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:27:00 11/30/2009
Filed Under: Politics, Elections, Eleksyon 2010
MANILA, Philippines -- President Arroyo’s bid for a seat in the Lower House is meant to render her successor, presumably Senator Benigno “`Noynoy’’ Aquino III, who has a massive lead in the surveys over his rivals, as merely “transitionary” by personally leading Charter change efforts to shift to a parliamentary form of government soon after the elections.
“Her ultimate goal is to become House Speaker and ram through her burning desire to change the Constitution. Since she cannot hope to beat Noynoy, her next best option is to render his victory useless and lead the change in form of government,’’ said Sen. Mar Roxas, Aquino’s running mate in the Liberal Party ticket.
Roxas claimed Ms Arroyo’s run for a congressional seat was part of a scheme to perpetuate herself in power through Charter change which, Roxas said, she planned to follow through under a constitutional convention (Con-con) in the next administration.
Running for Congress would also allow her to use her congressional seat to defend herself from a “landslide of lawsuits’’ that would be filed against her after her term as president ends, Roxas said.
Before Congress went on recess two weeks ago, representatives placed on the floor for debates a bill proposing the election of Con-con delegates in October next year.
But Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD expressed doubts whether Congress would approve the Con-con bill before its final session in February with the start of the campaign season.
``I believe that it is still to early for the President to retire from politics and that she wanted to impart her knowledge derived from nine years in Malacañang to us here in Congress,’’ Barzaga said.
Sen. Francis Escudero said that while it was well within Ms Arroyo’s right to run for a lower post, ``it surely leaves a bad taste in the mouth.''
``What else does she need to prove and accomplish?'' Escudero asked.