United Opposition vice presidential candidate and Makati City Mayor Jojo Binay said yesterday that Malacanang allies had been asked to seek congressional seats in the upcoming elections to ensure that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wins the speakership of the House of Representatives.
There are over a hundred members of Lakas-Kampi, the political party of Arroyo, who are running for reelection aside from government supporters who are seeking posts in Congress as party-list representatives, and Binay said this was part of the grand plan to put Arroyo at the helm.
“Alam po naman natin na sa buong bansa marami siyang pinakandidato na pawang may mga bahid ng mga taga-Malacanang,” Binay said in a radio interview in Legazpi. “Siya po ang magiging speaker tapos sila ang mangunguna sa Charter Change natin and they will convert it to a parliamentary form of government at siya na naman uli ang magiging prime minister. Iyan po talaga ang pakay nila.”
Congressmen allied with the president admitted that the ruling administration party would field Arroyo, who is running for representative in the second district of Pampanga, as Lakas bet for Speaker and predicted that she would win the race hands down.
Binay explained that Arroyo was dead set to become prime minister to thwart the possible filing of criminal charges in connection with graft and corruption against her and her family after her term expires on June 30.
Since her ascent to power, Arroyo and the First Family have been embroiled in various scandals from kickbacks to bribery and from “jueteng” to election cheating.
The latest corruption allegation against the president and her family was the aborted $329-million National Broadband Network contract forged with ZTE of China that was reportedly overpriced by $130 million. Other controversies involved the “Jose Pidal” account where the money collected from her campaign was allegedly kept secretly, the P728-million fertilizer fund scam which was given to favored officials at the time when Arroyo was seeking a fresh mandate, the controversial $503-million NorthRail mass transit project, the reported protection money given to her husband, son Mikey and brother-in-law Iggy Arroyo, and the “Hello Garci” tapes that purportedly caught the president speaking to then Election Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano about rigging the 2004 elections.
“Talagang takot nga pong mawala si Pangulong Arroyo sa poder dahil sa mga kamalian at kabuktutan ng kanyang administrasyon,” the UNO vice presidential candidate said.#