Arroyo allies douse prime minister talk

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 25 2018 03:47 PM | Updated as of Jul 25 2018 03:48 PM

Former President and congresswoman Gloria Arroyo waves during break in Congress on July 23, 2018. The Pampanga lawmaker was elected speaker of the House of Representatives. Noel Celis, Agence France-Presse

MANILA - Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is not hatching any plot to become prime minister if the proposed shift to a federal system of government succeeds, her allies in the House of Representatives said Wednesday. 

Some analysts and Senator Panfilo Lacson have said former President Arroyo's ascent to the speakership could be part of a plan to make her prime minister.

Arroyo has never talked about becoming prime minister, Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said, adding that those who said otherwise were grandstanding. 

House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said any constitutional amendment to pave the way for federalism will only happen after the mid-term elections in 2019. 

Arroyo will retire after her congressional term ends next year, Suarez said.
 
The former President is also against the cancellation of the 2019 elections, an idea floated by her predecessor, Davao Del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, in a bid to hasten the shift to federalism, said 
Atienza.

Arroyo also rejects Alvarez's position that the House can amend the constitution without the Senate, said AKO Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin.