This is one proof that the bishops of the Philippines failed miserably to teach her morality!
[shown at right, gloating!] on Tuesday filed her certificate of candidacy to run for the 2nd congressional district of Pampanga, making her the first incumbent president in Philippine history to run for a lower position.
Arroyo first heard Mass at the San Agustin Church [Pharisee!] in her hometown of Lubao, Pampanga before proceeding to the local Commission on Elections office. She was accompanied by her husband, Jose Miguel, [glutton!] while hundreds of supporters cheered.
Mrs. Arroyo earlier said she made her decision to stay in government due to the clamor of her supporters in Pampanga. [Mayors who were loyal to her made the clamor. Her son is the seating congressman who is eligible for re-election. Are these mayors saying that her son did an awful job so they opted for the mother?] "After much contemplation I realized I am not ready to step down completely from public service," she said in a radio interview. [Much like not yet had her fill! Hah!]
Her announcement has triggered immediate outrage from opponents who said she was making a brazen bid to stay in power. [You think!]
"If this was out of a desire to serve the people, it would be admirable," said former president Joseph Estrada, who is seeking a second term as president in the May elections.
"But it is a brazen attempt to stay in power forever. This should be considered as a warning that the scheming by this regime will not end with this president's term in 2010." [I am no fan of Joseph Estrada but this time I completely agree with his assessment.]
In the government radio interview, Arroyo sidestepped a question about whether she wanted to change the constitution and become the first prime minister of the Philippines in a similar move to Russia's Vladimir Putin.
"That situation is so hypothetical I won't even bother to speculate about it," she responded. [But Mrs. Arroyo, that was how you responded before when asked if you'll run for Congress! Hell, even your professional liars aka PR men/lawyers said the same thing! When do we end the speculation? When your Prime Minister?]
Arroyo would be able to change the Constitution only if her Lakas-Kampi-CMD coalition gained enough seats in both houses of Congress in the May elections. [She has the money! Remember the billion peso scam involving the failed ZTE Telecoms project?]
Arroyo gave a more direct denial of accusations that she wanted to enter parliament to retain immunity against graft charges that opponents have said they plan to file against her for alleged corrupt activities while president.
"Congressional immunity is only from libel suits for utterances made in Congressional sessions. That is not what I am after. This will reflect my own level of commitment to public service," she said. [Oh really! As if we can trust the word of a liar! Then what is your reason for running in Congress? Are you admitting to us Filipinos that you have not done enough for your province as president?]
However, with the legal situation extremely murky, critics insisted Arroyo was hoping to dodge graft charges.
"Perhaps that's her exit plan to ensure protection," said high-profile opposition Senator Francis Escudero.
"While it's her right to do so (run for Congress), it surely leaves a bad taste in the mouth. What else does she need to prove and accomplish?" [Everyone has the humbug of a right to do this and to do that! Everybody talks about their rights! How about a sense of propriety? Leaves a bad taste in the mouth? What an understatement!]
The Philippines' constitution states that Philippine presidents are not allowed to seek re-election after their 6-year term ends.
"I am not surprised. She is still motivated by political survival at all costs," Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan said. [More of financial survival! Her work as president will be under scrutiny one she leaves the presidential palace!]
"I recall Senator Joker Arroyo saying that her running for Congress would be demeaning. But to PGMA, nothing is demeaning when it comes to political survival," Pangilinan said in a statement. [Demeaning? The woman is numbed by power! Nothing would hurt her!]
"For GMA, it is better to be in office than out of it, because the office and powers that come with it will be used as a vehicle to protect herself. This has little to do with public service and has more to do with protecting one’s back from the threat of criminal prosecution," Pangilinan said.
"She is desperately looking for a soft landing after 2010. She will win, yes, and she will try her best to use the office to protect herself. I doubt it very much though if she will succeed in finding a way out, in achieving the soft landing she desires," he added.
Arroyo has actually served 8 years as president after rising to power in the wake of a bloodless military-backed uprising against Estrada in 2001.
Arroyo had been vice president under Estrada, then went on to win her own 6-year term in 2004 in an election tainted by allegations that she sought to rig votes.
Regardless of her long-term ambitions, Arroyo's opponents said she would have an unfair advantage while campaigning for Congress because of her presidential powers.
"She's setting a bad precedent (by) hanging on to a presidential post and using presidential power and funds to crush any Congressional opponent," said opposition Senator Aquilino Pimentel. [Her minions said no. And we can trust their word for it.]
"She's making the political playing field uneven versus all democratic demands for fairness."
A law expert, meanwhile, said Mrs. Arroyo lost her immunity to criminal charges after she filed her COC. Amado Valdez, dean of the University of the East College of Law, said filing the COC made her go down to the level of an ordinary candidate "and her immunity from suit will be gone." [I hope he is right! Let the floodgates open!]
Valdez advised Mrs. Arroyo that to dodge law suits while running for Congress, she should take a leave of absence instead of formally vacating her office in Malacañang.
He said Vice-President Noli de Castro can take over the presidency until a new president is proclaimed after the May 2010 elections.
Valdez also advised Mrs. Arroyo's critics to immediately question her candidacy either before the Supreme Court or the Commission on Elections (Comelec). [Go! Go! Go!]
He said Arroyo would also violate certain laws, including her oath of office, if she runs for a local post while sitting as President. "She will be violating her oath of office that 'she will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill her duties as president,'" he said.
Valdez said that as President, the Comelec would need her authorization to remove government officials who will be violating election laws.
If the government officials were from Pampanga's 2nd district and their violations are for being partisan to her bid for Congress, she would not be in a better position to decide on whether to suspend the public officials, the legal expert said.
"There would be conflict of interest," Valdez added.
Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño, meanwhile, described President Arroyo as a "megalomaniac." He said the President is "a person who is obsessed with their own power; a person who has delusions about his own power and importance."
Now dear TPC readers, you have a clear idea why the Philippines needs prayers