'Arroyo to wield impeach weapon vs next president'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 30 2009 01:53 PM | Updated as of Oct 31 2009 02:28 AM

MANILA - A political analyst sees President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo running for a seat in Congress in May 2010, becoming House Speaker, and wielding the weapon of impeachment as leverage vis-a-vis the next president.

Randy David, a newspaper columnist and sociology professor at the University of the Philippines, said Arroyo plans  to run in Pampanga's 2nd district and then "buy her way" to becoming speaker of the House of Representatives.

"Titiyakin nila na after 2010, lahat ng kongresista na mananalo sa 2010 ay hawak nila. That will wield the weapon of impeachment. It will be a leverage, a negotiating mechanism with respect sa kung sinuman ang mananalo bilang presidente (They will make sure that all of the congressmen in 2010 will be beholden to them. This will wield the weapon of impeachment. It will be a leverage, a negotiating mechanism with respect to whoever becomes the next president)," David said.

After taking control of Congress, she and her allies will also push for a parliamentary form of government so that she can go back to power as prime minister. 

On Thursday, Mrs. Arroyo's spokesperson, Lorelei Fajardo said that there is a clamor for the President to run as representative of Pampanga's 2nd district.

“Yes, there is a clamor for her to run especially in Lubao,” Fajardo said, referring to Mrs. Arroyo's hometown.

Malacañang has said that Mrs. Arroyo is almost sure of victory if she will run for a seat in Congress in May 2010 because of  overwhelming support for her in Pampanga.

Reports said Mrs. Arroyo has visited Pampanga at least 33 times this year, fueling speculations that she will be running for Congress.

David said Mrs. Arroyo has been "totally monopolizing and controlling the political field in Pampanga." He said the visits are part of Mrs. Arroyo's long-term strategy.

"It's because there is a larger scenario being played out here," he added.

Repelling a 'dark plan'

The professor said the way to repel Mrs. Arroyo's "dark plan" is not just to oppose her bid in her congressional distirct, but to wage a nationwide campaign for an "opposition-dominated" government in 2010.

He said it's not just the presidency that must be captured by the opposition but both houses of Congress as well.

"Ito ay laban na higit pa sa akin, at kailangan ko ang tulong ng lahat ng mga nag-iisip na Pilipino at nagmamahal sa bansa upang pigilin ang balakin na iyan (This is not only my fight. I would need the help of all thinking and patriotic Filipinos to prevent this plan)," David said.

The professor, however, said that he is now in a quandary as to whether he will continue with his original plan to battle Mrs. Arroyo in the second district of Pampanga.

He said if he files his candidacy, electoral laws will not allow him to campaign from December to March 25. The campaign period for seats in the House of Representatives is from March 26 to May 8, 2010.

David said he may be convinced to push through with his plan run against Mrs. Arroyo in Pampanga only if she would be decent enough to step down from the presidency right after filing her certificate of candidacy in November.

"If she declares her candidacy and gives up the presidency, I will file my candidacy and oppose her," he said.

But if she doesn't give up her power after filing her candidacy, David said "I will join the nationwide campaign to make sure the new government will be an opposition government."