Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has apparently misjudged the loyalty of influential members of the House of Representatives in her purported attempt to overthrow Speaker Martin Romualdez.
A Poliskooper said at least four congressmen who were approached by the Pampanga Representative in her oust Romualdez rejected outright her overtures with the same reply: “I am sorry.”
The congressmen were cleverly referencing Arroyo’s “I am sorry speech, in which she publicly apologized for her “lapse in judgment” in the notorious “Hello Garci” election fraud scandal.
The Poliskooper further revealed that Arroyo has been struggling to gather support in the Batasan, apart from a few die-hard loyalists dating back to her time in Malacañang.
This difficulty is not only due to Romualdez’s strong backing in Congress and close ties to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., but also to the fact that around 100 congressmen still harbor resentment towards Arroyo for mistreating them during her previous stint as Speaker in the 17th Congress, with the support of Vice President Sara Duterte.
Arroyo was House Speaker in the second regular session of the 17th Congress, starting July 2018.
PoliSkooper noted that Arroyo moved to realign the budget soon after becoming Speaker to punish the supporters of her predecessor, former Speaker Bebot Alvarez, with a zero budget.
“If she believes she can still rely on her political capital from her presidency, which was more than a decade ago, she couldn’t be more mistaken. What she did to those 100 congressmen just a few years ago is still fresh in their memory,” the Poliskooper said.
Arroyo was recently removed from her post as Senior Deputy Speaker amid the rumored plot to oust Romualdez. The former leader was relegated to Deputy Speaker.
She later issued a statement denying any move to unseat Romualdez, saying her actions were misconstrued by some. While she confessed to aspiring to reclaim the Speaker’s seat when Marcos won the May 2022 elections, she abandoned her plans when the new president preferred his cousin Romualdez as speaker.
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