MALACANANG on Monday said it is premature to talk about the plan of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo whether she will seek the post of Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Gary Olivar said Arroyo should first win her fight for a congressional post in the second district of Pampanga before reports of her being the next Speaker of the House be released.

Some of Arroyo’s allies in the Lakas-Kampi-CMD expressed confidence that Arroyo will clinch the speakership as they field the President as the majority’s candidate.

For updates from around the country, follow Sun.Star on Twitter

But Olivar said this report does not excite the President because she is focusing on her legacy achievements and she tries to set aside politics.

“She starts campaigning in March — maybe that is a better time to answer that. In the meantime, she is the President of the Philippines. This is her only job right now and so it’s probably best to keep our questions for now confined to what she is doing on this job as this is her only job right now,” he said.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, the former Lakas-Kampi president, echoed the statement of Olivar, saying Arroyo has no time to discuss with him about her plan in Congress because of her concentration on spreading her legacy such as the Urban Luzon Beltway and the Mindanao Agribusiness Super Region she will be visiting this week.

Ermita refused to say whether this report is good news to them but said that it is not bad news.

“Well first of all I must first win and of course very obvious, should all of these things happen, definitely, about support for her, definitely there is no question about it,” he said.

Olivar meanwhile said they will not urge the allies of the President to stop floating reports about speakership, stressing that it is their freedom to express their opinion.

“Well, those are obviously the statement of her allies who are understandably impressed by her record and her potential for leadership. We understand the admiration and the support that they wish to extend.”

For another deputy spokesperson, Charito Planas, she considered this issue as speculations that should not be tackled at this point since there is no assurance how many majority will win reelection.

“This is a number game,” she said, stressing that both the majority and the minority will be deciding on who will be the next Speaker thus it is untimely to draw a conclusion at this early.

The issue of speakership of Arroyo has stirred criticisms from the opposition particularly Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Noynoy Aquino.

Aquino said he will exert all means to stop the President to be the next Speaker of the House.

Olivar said this criticism is not surprising since Aquino is an opposition candidate.

Block any move

In reaction, LP vowed to block any move to make Arroyo sit as Speaker in the event that Aquino and his running mate Senator Mar Roxas win in the upcoming elections.

“An Aquino-Roxas and Liberal Party victory in the elections will block any attempt to install Arroyo as Speaker of the House,” said LP spokesperson Quezon Representative Erin Tanada.

The response came after Isabela Representative Rodolfo Albano III admitted that there is a big chance that President Arroyo, who is running for Pampanga second district representative, would be fielded by the Lakas-Kampi-CMD as Speaker of the House.

“It is presumptuous on the part of Lakas-Kampi-CMD to assume that Arroyo will be Speaker of the House without even knowing how many representatives from their party will win in their respective districts. Yes, they may have more candidates but it does not translate to an automatic victory as House Speaker,” Tanada said.

Speculations have been going on that President Arroyo, even after having reached the peak of her political career, wants to be the House Speaker with plans of becoming prime minister if her allies in Congress succeed to amend the Constitution and change the form of government into parliamentary. (Jill Beltran and Angela Casauay/Sunnex)