No lock on House speakership for GMA

Posted: March 27, 2010 in 2010 elections, GMA, Philippine politics

According to a nationwide survey made by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, GMA will have at least 159 votes for Speaker if ALL her allies seeking House seats will win.

Actually, she only needs just a simple majority, or 135 votes to be installed as the legislative chamber’s leader.

Eastern Samar Gov. Ben Evardone, one of GMA’s closest allies and himself running for a House seat representing his province thinks she is a strong contender, having “a lot of loyalists who are going to win in the local races for Congress.”

PMP vice presidential bet Jejomar Binay believes that whether GMA wins the Speakership or not, she will be a thorn on the new President’s side.  Binay thinks with at least 90 loyal allies, GMA can impeach the incumbent chief executive.

Meanwhile, current Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, believes that 5 Arroyos in the House cannot elect the Speaker.  Mikey gave way to his mother’s candidacy in the second district of Pampanga and is seeking a House seat through the party-list back-door by claiming to represent security guards.  Aside from Mikey, another Arroyo is already in the House–Ang Kasangga Rep. Lourdes Arroyo, sister of the First Gentlemen Jose Miguel Arroyo–who claims to represent balut and other street vendors.  The other Arroyos in the House are GMA’s younger son, Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado Arroyo and her brother-in-law, Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio Arroyo.

Other GMA allies like former Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes, who claims to represent the jeepney drivers through the 1-Utak party list group and former Justice Secretary Agnes Devenadera, among others, are also seeking House seats.

Indeed 5 Arroyos are not sufficient to make GMA House speaker.  She will need 130 votes more.

Question is: will her allies remain loyal to her and install her as speaker?

We believe that the preferences of the new President will be a more powerful determinant.  We should be reminded that loyalties in the House will be aligned with the new President who now is the chief dispenser of public largesse.

A surer scenario for her to be Speaker of the House is a partial failure of elections–only the House can be constituted; the Senate lacks 12 members and could not constituted as a chamber; and no President and Vice President is proclaimed.  With the constitution of the House, GMA can be installed Speaker and can even be acting President since she is 4th in the line of succession.

If the Senate cannot be constituted as a chamber following the failure of national elections, a Senate President, who is 3rd in the line of succession, cannot be named.


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