Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Colleagues urge Gloria to resign congressional seat

Two party-list representatives on Tuesday urged former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to resign as Pampanga’s Second District representative after she was arrested last week for electoral sabotage.

Her arrest made Arroyo “unfit for public service," said ACT Teachers’ party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio.
“Since the electoral sabotage case is just the first of many charges that she will face as she is called to account for the numerous crimes against the people she committed during her presidency, it will become impossible for her to discharge her duties as representative," Tinio said in a text message to reporters.

Mrs. Arroyo is under hospital arrest at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) sued her Friday for electoral sabotage.

The former President is accused of giving orders to rig the 2007 poll results in favor of administration senatorial candidates.

Also, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teodoro Casiño said Mrs. Arroyo should quit her congressional seat since “her continued membership further tarnishes the House’s honor."

“She has brought embarrassment and dishonor to the House. She should now do the House and her constituents a favor by resigning from Congress," he said in a separate text message to reporter.

Since July when she was diagnosed with a pinched nerve in her spine or multilevel cervical spondylosis, Mrs. Arroyo has not been attending congressional sessions, going went through a series of operations in the past months.

She was also diagnosed with bone mineral disorder and hypoparathyroidism.

'A personal matter'

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said he “does not go along" with calls for Mrs. Arroyo’s resignation after her arrest.

“I always thought that in this country, meron pa ring presumption of innocence… At any rate, resignation is a personal matter and hindi naman pwedeng i-force ‘yan," he said.

The House Speaker noted he does not believe the former President has tarnished the House’s reputation, since the accusations against her were supposedly committed before her term as Pampanga congresswoman.

“… [I]f ever it will reach a point that she is unable to discharge’" her duties, the House may appoint a “caretaker" for the Second District of Pampanga, Belmonte said.
Three other Pampanga representatives or even Mrs. Arroyo’s son, Ang Galing Pinoy party-list Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey" Arroyo, may be tasked to take charge of the district, according to the Speaker

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