Friday, December 4, 2009

Clamor for GMA to quit rages (Pull off Cha-Cha? No way, say critics)


Original Story:

THE UNITED Opposition yesterday joined the outcry for President Arroyo to resign now that she has declared her congressional bid for second district of Pampanga.

Former President Joseph Estrada said it is "unbelievable" that President Arroyo is determined to run for Congress.

"She has already served for nine years, what more does she want?"

On Wednesday, former President Fidel Ramos called on Arroyo to resign to level the playing field as he said her office gives her undue advantage over her opponent.

Margaux Salcedo, Estrada’s spokesperson, noted the dangers of a House of Representatives controlled by Arroyo and her allies.

"What is most dangerous is not having President Arroyo in Congress in 2010 alone but having her with her many allies in Congress. If they control Congress, even if an opposition president wins, the possibility of Charter Change for a transition to a parliamentary form of government, with GMA as prime minister, approaches reality," Salcedo said.

UNO spokesman and former Sen. Ernesto Maceda said they will not field a candidate against Arroyo in Pampanga.

"The reality of politics is that anyone who runs against her will lose so it would be futile for any party to field a candidate against her."

"What we will do is we will ensure that the congressional candidates of the opposition win to make sure that if President Arroyo is elected as congresswoman, as she undoubtedly will be, she will not necessarily have control of the lower house. We do not want the next president, who is poised to come from the opposition, to be unable to carry out the reforms that we envision just because Arroyo and her allies populate the House of Representatives," he said.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, who on Wednesday said the President will push for Charter change in Congress, appealed for a stop to discussions on amending the Constitution.

"I wish we will not focus on the issue of Charter change. Since I have not discussed that matter with the President, it’s highly speculative what anyone who will be elected in 2010 might do."

Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, Arroyo’s spokesman on political issues, said the President is not bothered by the criticisms.

"Her constituents should not be deprived of the services and projects they justly deserved just because of some politically motivated criticisms," he said.

Sen. Joker Arroyo dismissed fears that the President will lead efforts to amend the 1987 Constitution.

"Mrs. Arroyo as a president made many attempts to amend the Constitution but she failed. If she failed as a president to amend it, how can she succeed at a lower position, House Speaker?" he said.

Sen. Arroyo said the President has no chance of becoming Speaker as the presidential aspirants seem inclined not to support her.

"The next House Speaker will be the choice of the next President. Chances are there will be no president who will support that – Noynoy won’t, Villar won’t, Erap won’t, even Teodoro. That can never happen," he said.

He added the President could never be prime minister because she would have to amend first the Constitution, which, he said, she could not do. "Since she cannot amend it, no way will she become a prime minister. For all you know, she is laughing inside her."

He said the President "is now very weak."

"She has no political clout. What more if she is only a congresswoman. I’ve been in the House for nine years, may bagong hero na diyan. Look at JDV (Jose de Venecia), nang nawala siya, nobody wants to talk to him," he added.

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago said President Arroyo is being "demonized" for pursuing her political ambition to run for Congress.

She said it is not a crime to be ambitious but it is a sin in the Catholic Church to be proud.

"Remember, it is said that the archetypal sin against God was the pride of Satan. So we have to distinguish between the political and the religious," she said.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said the President’s fate should be left to the Supreme Court and the people.

"I don’t think we should deprive the country of a president, anim na buwan na lang. Let the SC decide on the issue regarding the position that the President wishes to run for Congress," he said.

Enrile though admitted that as a lawyer, he believes that the President is not qualified for any reelection, "meaning any position."

"I think it is good that this matter will be brought to the SC, this will also be part of the discussion with regards to the issue of former President Joseph Estrada running even if he did not complete his term," Enrile said.

The Gabriela women’s party said there was never any doubt that Charter Change is the foremost agenda in Arroyo’s bid to run for Congress and it is towards seizing power as the prime minister.

"Sobrang kapal ng mukha niya. Wala siya ni katiting na kahihiyan."

"She insists on staying in power to shield herself from being tried and punished knowing her hands are sullied with the blood of Filipinos, including women and children, killed under her regime," said Emmi de Jesus, Gabriela vice chairperson and party nominee.

Migrante-Middle East, an alliance of overseas Filipino migrant workers’ organization in the Middle East, and its chapters have vowed to campaign against Arroyo.

"We have had enough of anti-OFW policies and programs burdening OFWs and their families," said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-ME regional coordinator. – With Regina Bengco and JP Lopez

Original Story:

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