Tuesday, November 22, 2011
ANG Galing Pinoy party-list Representative Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo may be designated as the caretaker of the second district of Pampanga after her mother, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, was placed under arrest.
Aside from the other three legislators representing Pampanga in the House of Representatives, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said Mikey Arroyo “can also qualify” considering that he held his mother’s position from 2004 to 2010 before he ran as a party-list congressman.
The three other representatives of Pampanga are Carmelo Lazatin (first district), Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales (third district), and Anna York Bondoc (fourth district).
“At the moment, she’s pretty much in control of the district and if she’d ever reach a point not to discharge her duties but still hold a position, we can assign a caretaker…She can still do things through her staff,” Belmonte told reporters in a press briefing Tuesday.
Belmonte issued the statement after some members of the progressive party-list bloc called for the resignation of former President Arroyo.
“Her arrest and trial for her string of cases will definitely prevent her from effectively fulfilling her duties in Congress. This is aside from the point that her continued membership further tarnishes the House’s honor,” Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casino said in a text message.
For his part, ACT Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio, said “it will become impossible” for Arroyo to discharge all her duties considering that the electoral sabotage case she is facing is only one of many charges she has to account for.
Belmonte, however, stressed that the presumption of innocence should be upheld. He said Arroyo’s colleagues should not demand her resignation considering the trial has not even started.
“But at any rate, resignation is always a personal matter and we cannot impose that,” he added.
Arroyo is currently under hospital arrest at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City after being implicated in the manipulation of the 2007 election results. She is facing non-bailable electoral sabotage charges and may face lifetime imprisonment.
House leaders say that if Arroyo is convicted in the courts, she will automatically be expelled from the House of Representatives.
Arroyo ran as the second district representative of Pampanga after her nine-year term as President.
Belmonte meanwhile said Arroyo will continue to receive her priority development assistance fund (PDAF) more popularly known as “pork barrel”.
“The pork barrel after all is for the good of the district and they should be released,” he said.(Sunnex)