Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Why is GMA running? It’s Cha-Cha, stupid! (Ermita: She’ll pursue long-time advocacy)


MALACAÑANG yesterday said President Arroyo will push for constitutional amendments once elected in Congress.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said Arroyo has been an advocate of Charter change for a long time.

He said Arroyo will get a lot of support for her Cha-Cha advocacy because of her clout as the former occupant of Malacañang and the fact that the House of Representatives is controlled by Lakas-Kampi-CMD, of which she is president emeritus.

Lawyer Romulo Macalintal, Arroyo’s counsel, said the President will never touch a single cent of the public funds to campaign. "So her detractors should never worry," he said.

Senators Miriam Defensor Santiago and Panfilo Lacson said Arroyo is not immune from prosecution even if she wins.

Santiago, an administration ally, said the President "does not gain any immunity from criminal or civil suits for her presidency."

"She can still be sued even if she is a congresswoman. She only has parliamentary immunity in the sense that she can deliver privilege speeches, attack anybody, and not be sued for what she has done within the confines of the House of Representatives," Santiago added.

Lacson agreed.

"Ang immunity ng congressman at senador, kung may regular session at kung six years or less ang penalty. So di absolute ang immunity. Kung halimbawa makasuhan siya ng plunder which is a capital offense, di masasakop ng immunity yan. At saka immunity lang from arrest," Lacson said.

Lacson believes there will be a deluge of complaints once Arroyo steps out of Malacañang.

"I’m sure babaha sigurado ang complaints against her dahil sa excesses di lang sa corruption kundi iba pang issues. She should brace herself maski congresswoman na siya," he added. – With JP Lopez


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