Arroyo belies prime minister bid, 'no-el' scenario in 2019

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 27 2018 02:18 PM | Updated as of Jul 28 2018 12:58 AM

Former president and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo waves during a break in a joint session of Congress on July 23, 2018. Noel Celis, Agence France-Presse

MANILA - House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday said she would not push for term extensions next year and would not run for prime minister once the country shifts to a federal form of government.

Arroyo's ousted predecessor Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez earlier pushed for term extensions and the suspension of the 2019 mid-term elections supposedly to give lawmakers more time to prepare for the shift to federalism.

Such scenario may have cost him the House leadership, officials said. 

"Definitely I’m not supporting term extension," Arroyo told reporters.

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The former president said the House is waiting for the Senate’s action on their resolution to convene into a constituent assembly to tackle the shift to federalism.

Duterte’s move for charter change contains proposals that will further liberalize the national economy through opening strategic sectors to foreign investments and control, a proposal which Arroyo also championed during her presidency and was included in her draft rewriting of the 1987 Constitution.

Arroyo said allegations that she aspires to become prime minister under a revised constitution is merely "black propaganda."

As president, Arroyo also pushed for charter change near the end of her term in 2009, but it failed to launch due to her unpopularity then.