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NEWS UPDATES 22 June 2009

Senate president: Arroyo will not run in 2010 Philippine Congress

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Philippine President Gloria Arroyo will not run for Congress in 2010 and there will be no convening of a Constituent Assembly at the inaugural session of the Fourteenth Congress, the Manila Times quoted Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile as saying Sunday.

President Arroyo has kept silent on her political plans for 2010 amid speculations that she would run for Congress in the Second District of Pampanga, her home province. Her eldest son, Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, represents the district in Congress.

Enrile said during an interview over radio station dzRH that he understood why the President had kept mum on what she intended to do.

“Anybody who understands the dynamics of leadership knows that the moment she declares she would be out of politics after 2010, she will immediately be a lame duck president,” he added.

Enrile contended that the President is under no obligation to announce her political plans, and anybody who demanded that she did so was being disrespectful.

Enrile has been calling for constitutional amendments but he admitted that there is no more time left to do so before the 2010 presidential elections.

By speculating that Mrs. Arroyo would eye a congressional seat after she steps down from office, administration critics are “risking” their chances in the 2010 elections,  Malacañang, the presidential palace, said also on Sunday.

According to Gabriel Claudio, the presidential adviser for political affairs, it is not important whether the President is compelled by law to resign before running for Congress. What is more relevant, he said, is that the elections would take place.

Mrs. Arroyo’s critics claimed that she is planning to run for congressman while her allies in the House of Representatives amend the Constitution to effect a shift from a presidential to a parliamentary form of government. Hence, they further claimed, she can aspire to be prime minister and remain in power under the parliamentary system.



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