Mikey admits gathering signatures

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — PAMPANGA Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo yesterday admitted he is seeking support from Malacanang allies in the House of Representatives to adopt a resolution calling for Charter change.

Arroyo, however, clarified that he is not the “person in charge” or the one gathering the signatures of lawmakers for the resolution seeking to convene Congress into a constituent assembly to amend the 1987 Constitution.

“I cannot deny the fact that I asked support from some of my friends because that’s how we are in Congress, we look at ourselves as collegial body, our thoughts are done together,” he said.

The solon said the resolution proposed convening Congress after 2010, meaning there would be no term extension for President Macapagal-Arroyo.

“Sa mga presidentiables huwag silang kabahan,” he added.

Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino president Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte authored the resolution.

“It’s the same resolution espoused by Speaker Jose de Venecia. We have been calling for Cha-cha all along,” the solon said.

The Committee on Constitutional Amendments will conduct a whole day public hearing on Tuesday to discuss Cha-cha.

Malacañang yesterday defended the President’s son from allegations of leading the Cha-cha campaign in Congress.

Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Gabriel Claudio said the young Arroyo “was showing only as much interest” like any regular member of the lower House.

“It’s not correct, much less fair to conclude that Mikey is behind Cha-cha in the House,” he said.

Claudio confirmed that the President along with several congressmen went to the house of Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez in Forbes Park but denied that it was for the so-called launching of charter change. “It was to join other congressmen in celebrating Martin’s birthday,” he said.