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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

GMA fomenting political, constitutional crisis -- Chiz

Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero yesterday accused President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of fomenting a political and constitutional crisis by fueling speculation about her plans for next year's polls.

"The President should put an end to these endless speculations about her political plans for next year by declaring once and for all whether she will run for Congress in 2010," Escudero said.

"An honest and forthright declaration of intentions will avert a political crisis in the making," he added.

Escudero said the speculations, being fanned by the President and her allies are alarming when taken in the context of moves in the House of Representatives to amend the Constitution through a constituent assembly.

"Her allies are now scrambling to push Con-Ass. Why? And the President's body language indicates there is nothing to stop her from running for Congress in her hometown should she decide to do so. Why?," Escudero asked.

The 39-year old lawyer-senator also said the President is not barred from running for any other position other than the presidency in the May 2010 elections.

Escudero, who is chair of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revision of laws, also said President Arroyo can stay on in office even as she bids for another elective post.

"If she does run, delicadeza dictates that she steps down from the presidency when she files her certificate of candidacy," he said.

"If she declares her intentions as early as now, it will clarify a confused political situation, already muddled by rear-guard attempts by her allies to railroad charter change," Escudero said.

He said that the line of succession is clearly explained under Article 8 of the Constitution. None of the elected officials, from President, Vice President, Senate President, and House Speaker are obligated resign if they run for other elected posts.

 If they do resign, then Chief Justice Reynato Puno will head the caretaker government until the new president takes his oath of office.

 "As things stand, President Arroyo's greatest legacy would probably be a peaceful transfer of power to the real winner when she steps down on June 30, 2010," Escudero said.

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