AIE BALAGTAS SEE, GMANews.TV
11/30/2009 | 08:28 PM
Critics of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Monday lambasted her decision to run as congresswoman for Pampanga’s second district in next year’s election, saying that an incumbent president running for Congress is “fraught with dangers."
Former Cavite Rep. Gilbert Remulla, spokesperson of the Nacionalista Party, warned that “for a sitting president like GMA to become a member of Congress is fraught with danger."
In an interview over radio dzBB, Remulla said that with Mrs. Arroyo's power and resources, she can easily form a "power bloc" in Congress that could intimidate the new president that would be elected in 2010.
United Opposition (UNO) standard-bearer and former President Joseph Estrada also said Monday that Mrs. Arroyo should step down after filing her certificate of candidacy to prevent her from using government resources “like what she did in 2004" to ensure her victory against his closest friend, Fernando Poe Jr.
Muntinlupa Rep. Rufino “Ruffy" Biazon echoed the same view, and also called on Mrs. Arroyo to relinquish her post to avoid conflict of interests. Being the country's chief executive, Mrs. Arroyo is also the commander in chief of the Armed Forces, Biazon said.
For his part, Senator Francis “Kiko" Pangilinan said he was not surprised by the President’s move, adding that Mrs. Arroyo remains “motivated by political survival at all costs."
Mrs. Arroyo wants a “soft landing" when her term expires to protect her back from the threat of criminal prosecution, Pangilinan said. He doubted however if the president could “escape the judgment of history" and “hide from the scandals and controversies that hounded her years in office."
On the other hand, former Senator Ernesto Maceda, spokesman for Estrada's Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, said in an interview over dzBB radio that while Mrs. Arroyo's plan show her "greed for power," she is unlikely to become House Speaker even if she wins a congressional seat in Pampanga.
An opposition candidate is likely to win the presidency in 2010, Maceda said, and he will likely choose a political ally for the Speaker's post.
'She needs professional help'
Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño put it bluntly, saying he has never seen a “leader so obsessed with power."
“She is drunk with power. I think she needs professional help," Casiño said in a text message to reporters.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said, given her legacy that is tainted with “corruption and impunity," the President is no longer "morally" qualified to hold any public office.
"This is a dark day for the Philippines. Her running for Congress is a slap on the face of the many victims of her administration. Her running for Congress is proof that she wants to somehow prolong her reign of terror," Reyes said.
Earlier, Mrs. Arroyo finally ended speculations on her political plans after she confirmed during a radio interview that she would seek a congressional seat in Pampanga’s second district where her hometown Lubao is located. [See: Arroyo announces bid for Congress seat in Pampanga]
Mrs. Arroyo said she is not yet ready to step down from public office and her decision was borne out of her desire to continue serving her constituents.
Lawyer Romeo Macalintal, Mrs. Arroyo's newly appointed political spokesperson, added that there were no legal impediments that would hamper her candidacy. – with report from Johanna Camille Sisante, JV, GMANews.TV