by Gerry Albert Corpuz and Billy Javier Reyes
Manila, Philippines- Rabid critics of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday urged her allies to stop proposing to the Chief Executive the idea of running as Vice President or district representative in her hometown in Pampanga in the 2010 national and local elections.
“Why push her to run as Vice President or congressional representative in the second district of Pampanga, if she cannot even win the barangay chairmanship in La Vista, Quezon City or in any given barangay in Lubao, Pampanga,” the militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said in a press statement.
The militant group made the comment in response to the proposal of Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, a staunch ally of the President who said that Mrs. Arroyo could run as VP and running mate of administration bet Gilbert Teodoro in the 2010 presidential and vice-presidential derby.
Suarez broached the idea so that President Arroyo could ensure the continuity of economic reforsm which she started since GMA assumed the presidency in 2010. On Dec.1, Palace spokespersons said the President will make an official statement about her plans once she steps down from the presidency. Incidentally, Dec.1 is the last day of filing of candidacy of those seeking elective posts in May 2010 elections.
The Quezon province solon suggested that Ms Arroyo to run for vice president in May 2010, so that she could continue to push for the fiscal reforms and crucial legislation that have eluded her during her current term.
But Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said President Arroyo can be likened to a deadman walking as far as her political career is concerned given the latest survey conducted by independent think tank Ibon.
Citing the Oct 2-8 survey conducted by Ibon, the Pamalakaya leader said only 17 percent of President Arroyo’s townmates in Pampanga are in favor of her plans to run for the second district of the province.
Results of the latest IBON nationwide survey revealed that while 77 percent of respondents were very much aware and convinced that President Arroyo will seek a seat in the House of Representatives in 2010, 44.6 percent of those surveyed rebuked GMA’s plan to run for Congress next year.
“The same Ibon nationwide survey revealed that 61% of the total 1,496 respondents said they are aware Pres. Arroyo will run for Congress. Of this number, 85.8% said they were not in favor for the president to stay in government as a Pampanga representative. This representes the collective sentiment of the people, so even at the barangay level, Ms Arroyo will suffer a disaster at the electoral box-office,” said Hicap.
Earlier, Pamalakaya urged the six mayors of Pampanga who endorsed the plan of President Arroyo to seek a seat in Congress in 2010 elections to rethink their position warning them of the phenomenal kiss of death attached to the Chief Executive.
“We ask the mayors of Pampanga to reconsider their support to Arroyo’s plan to run for a congressional seat in 2010 in sinister try to perpetuate herself to power and enjoy immunity from suit for the next three to nine years. Remember the kiss of death that is attached and irremovable from her and that could affect their respective political futures,” the group said.
Pamalakaya reminded the six mayors of the second district– Dennis Pineda (Lubao), Eduardo Guerrero (Floridablanca), Ricardo Rivera (Guagua), Rogelio Santos (Porac), Leonardo Velasco (Sasmuan) and Yolanda Pineda (Sta. Rita) that President Arroyo is detested by the majority of the Filipino people, and even her townmates are not inclined to give her a seat in Congress despite her series of “visitorial escapades” in Lubao since last year.
“The people of Pampanga are decent people and they are proud of their revolutionary past against colonizers and traitors. They will not subscribe to GMA or to any kind of patronage politics. They want politics of change, not politics of accommodation and self-serving interest. In fact, Mrs. Arroyo appears like a dead man walking waiting for the death of her incorrigible career as a politician in 2010. So why stick to an ultimate loser and detested politician like Arroyo?” Pamalakaya.
Last week, Floridablanca Mayor Guerrero said he told Ms Arroyo about a petition urging her to run for Congress but did not get a categorical answer about her political plans. But the President just smiled at him in response to his proposal for her run as congresswoman in the province second district.
Political analysts agreed that Ms Arroyo’s frequent visits to the province this year—almost weekly, with some visits stretching for three days and most of them to towns in the second district—have led to speculation that she would seek the position now held by her son, Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo.
The President inspects and inaugurates government projects like school buildings, roads and water systems during her visits here. She also distributes relief goods, land titles, scholarship certificates and health cards to residents.
According to Lubao Mayor Pineda he will support Ms Arroyo 100 percent if she runs in the second district of Pampanga because she could serve the district well. Another supporter Porac mayor Santos said majority of the people in the province want her to run for congressional seat in 2010.#