Friday, December 4, 2009

5 presidential bets vow to stop Arroyo bid for House speakership

By Philip Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:25:00 12/04/2009

Filed Under: Inquirer Politics, Congress

Original Story:

MANILA, Philippines — Five presidential candidates have vowed to block any attempt by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to continue in power by becoming the Speaker of the House in the next Congress.

Speaking at a Manila forum late Tuesday, Sen. Benigno Aquino III, deposed President Joseph Estrada, Sen. Richard Gordon, evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva, and JC de los Reyes said that, if elected, they would stop Ms Arroyo from becoming Speaker.

According to Aquino, the real danger was an extra-constitutional scenario with no president, vice president, or senator being proclaimed after the May 2010 polls, but only winning House representatives and local officials.

“The danger happens if somehow congressman are elected but no Senate is constituted and also no vice president and president,” Aquino said at the Harapan presidential forum at the University of Santo Tomas.

If that were to happen, Aquino said he would “oppose any measure” that would try to extend Ms Arroyo’s stay in power “beyond what is embodied in our Constitution.”

Solid majority

He said he was confident that if elected, he would be able to use his influence as President so that he and not Ms Arroyo would have a “solid majority” in the House.

“We will have the same power to ensure that we will have a solid majority within the House of Representatives to advance our agenda that seeks reforms,” he said.

Aquino claimed to know Ms Arroyo’s moves having been a student of hers in college and having been a keen student of how she uses power to advance her cause in the past nine years.

But Aquino said he would know how to deal with such a scenario.

The ruling party’s presidential candidate, Gilberto Teodoro, said he would not be “dictated” upon and that he expected Ms Arroyo, if she becomes congresswoman, to toe the administration Lakas-Kampi-CMD party line.

“A congressman of the party would follow the goals and platform that were set by the party which I lead,” he said.

Teodoro admitted that he cannot go against Ms Arroyo now because she was the one who gave him his “break” when she appointed him defense secretary in 2006.

Original Story:

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