BATAAN, Philippines – Unlike her ousted predecessor Pantaleon Alvarez, Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo does not support a no-elections scenario in 2019.
On Friday, July 27, the former president was asked to comment on the proposal to scrap the midterm polls next year, which would effectively extend the terms of incumbent officials.
“Definitely I’m not supporting term extension,” Arroyo said in an ambush interview in Barangay Pinulot, Dinalupihan, Bataan.
Days before lawmakers unseated him as their leader, Alvarez said he wanted the 2019 elections scrapped to speed up the shift to federalism, a pronouncement that did not sit well with his colleagues, with opposition lawmakers calling his proposal “off-tangent” and “misplaced.”
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque already said President Rodrigo Duterte would make sure the midterm elections will be held in 2019, unless a new constitution is ratified earlier.
Legislators said Alvarez’s “no-el” proposal had been one of the reasons why he lost their trust and confidence, leading to his controversial ouster on Monday, July 23.
Arroy was in Bataan’s 1st District as it is one of the 10 districts lawmakers identified as badly hit by the recent southwest monsoon enhanced by several tropical cyclones. Arroyo had prioritized giving relief to these areas after the House coup that installed her as Speaker. – Rappler.com