By Nina Calleja
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:37:00 11/29/2009
Filed Under: Elections, Politics
MANILA, Philippines--If President Macapagal-Arroyo wins a seat in Congress, the next president will always be under the threat of a “constitutional coup” from an Arroyo-led House of Representatives, Makati Mayor and United Opposition (UNO) president Jejomar Binay warned Saturday.
“How can we expect the next president and his administration to focus on the urgent needs of the country when he will always be under threat from an Arroyo-led House that is determined to pursue Charter change?” Binay said.
In a statement, Binay said Arroyo, if elected representative, would most likely become the Speaker and such a scenario would create political instability.
“By spearheading a shift to a parliamentary form of government where she could be chosen as prime minister by a Congress dominated by her allies, Ms Arroyo can nullify the results of the 2010 presidential election,” he said.
Binay said administration allies had confirmed Ms Arroyo’s plan to run for a congressional seat in the second district of Pampanga.
On Friday, a group of Pampanga residents trooped to Malacañang to submit what was described as an appeal for her to run, Binay said.
“The congressional seat is just a launching pad to the speakership, and from there, to the post of prime minister under a parliamentary form of government,” he said.
Ms Arroyo promised to step down from office next year. But Charter change remains unfinished business for her party and supporters, Binay said.
“It all boils down to the real motive. It is obvious that Charter change remains an unfinished agenda, and being Speaker would allow her to pursue this agenda,” he added.
Binay claimed the President could succeed in getting herself elected as Speaker, considering that her allies even in the Cabinet and other government offices are also seeking congressional seats.
“Ms Arroyo as Speaker of the House will surely give the next president sleepless nights,” Binay said.
As Speaker, Ms Arroyo would be in a position to grab power from whoever is elected president, Binay claimed.
Binay is running for vice president under the UNO banner led by former president Joseph Estrada.