by Ben Rosario
Former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has no plans of retaliating against her successor former President Benigno Aquino III, the man blamed for her nearly five years’ incarceration for what the Supreme Court (SC) has confirmed as a baseless plunder complaint.
Lawyers have agreed that legal action is within Arroyo’s reach to retaliate at political foes blamed for denying her freedom and even the best medical treatment when she was placed under hospital arrest for nearly five years for the plunder case.
But Arroyo and Mendoza said they have no plans of pursuing court cases against Aquino and others involved in the filing of plunder case against her.
Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court declared with finality that Arroyo is innocent of any involvement in the plunder case involving the alleged mishandling of P366 million in intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
‘NO’ TO SPEAKERSHIP
Arroyo also declared Thursday that she does not aspire to become Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“I’m not interested (in the Speakership),” Arroyo said when asked to respond to rumors that she is gunning for the House leadership.
Arroyo was recently removed as deputy speaker of the chamber, a move that was pursued by incumbent Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez in retaliation for her alleged rejection of the death penalty bill.
However, her relief as deputy speaker also came in the wake of rumors that Arroyo is being groomed to become speaker, with Alvarez expected to resign to accept the role of the traffic czar of the Duterte administration.
A member of Alvarez’s staff later blamed the camp of Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio Floirendo for being the author of the rumor that had spread in the Lower House as early as December last year.
Arroyo called for a press conference Thursday to introduce the primer on laws affecting the country’s maritime territorial claims.
Authored by her lawyer Estelito Mendoza, the “Ocean Space or the Maritime Area of the Philippines” was published by the UP Law Center.
Alvarez, who served as transportation secretary during the Arroyo administration, removed the former president as the deputy speaker for Central Luzon after she voted against House Bill 4727.
But Arroyo earlier vowed to continue to support Alvarez’s leadership in the same manner that she will support the administration of President Duterte, who is also close to the former president.