Arroyo could be planning counterattack after 'humiliating, insulting demotion', says this solon

At a glance

  • Liberal Party (LP) President and Albay 1st district Rep. Edcel Lagman believes that Deputy Speaker and former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is just "biding her time to make a counteroffensive" as far as the House leadership issue is concerned.

  • House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Lagman says, should bare the details of the alleged coup plot that Arroyo had hatched.

  • Arroyo, Pampanga's 2nd district representative, has previously said that being the House Speaker was no longer part of her "political objectives".

IMG-e36815329c58c051d415e79e6ed1a431-V.jpg Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Rep. Arroyo's office)

The House leadership drama is not yet over, and Deputy Speaker Pampanga 2nd district Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo might be planning a counterattack.

Liberal Party (LP) President and Albay 1st district Rep. Edcel Lagman made these claims Wednesday, May 24, even as the self-styled independent minority congressman prodded Speaker Martin Romualdez to bare details of the alleged coup plot against him.

"The drama in the House has not ended. Astute and experienced politician that she is, GMA will not take lying down her humiliating and insulting demotion. She may be biding her time to make a counteroffensive," Lagman said.

On May 17, the House leadership stripped former president Arroyo of her senior deputy speaker title. She was relegated to a deputy speaker, while Pampanga 3rd district Rep. Aurelio "Dong" Gonzales Jr. was given her former lofty post.

Almost immediately after this, whispers of an ouster plot against Romualdez--allegedly being orchestrated by his Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) party-mate Arroyo--began to spread.

"I am certain the Speaker Martin Romualdez has the incriminatory details and evidence regarding the plot to oust him," Lagman said.

"However, Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo denied the accusation and said that her political objectives do not include becoming Speaker again. In other words, she no longer covets the Speakership," he noted.

"It is incumbent for the Speaker, in the interest of the House Members still in the dark, to reveal the inculpatory details of a plot by GMA for her to deserve such an abrupt, unceremonious, and humiliating demotion from senior deputy speaker to one of the many deputy speakers," Lagman said.

The LP stalwart also wondered out loud who the coup conspirators were, and whether or not they would be punished like Arroyo. "Maybe they do not have any important positions in the House from which they can be demoted."

"In hindsight, there should have been first a confrontation between the protagonists before any penalty was imposed," he said.

Lagman, himself a veteran in Philippine politics, doubted that Arroyo had indeed "accepted her fate".

"Politics is not only a show of force, it is also a show of appearances. Protagonists kiss and make up in public with daggers behind their backs. Token gestures of amity actually hide enmity," he said.

On May 22, Arroyo joined the oathtaking of Gonzales as the new senior deputy speaker at the plenary rostrum. The oath was administered by Romualdez.

The next day, Arroyo was seen again at another oathtaking led by Romualdez, this time of Lakas-CMD's 19 new members.