President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo “is not a lame duck under any realistic assessment, political standard, lexicon definition and idiomatic expression.”
Rep. Edcel C. Lagman of Albay made this clear as he refuted the statements of some senators who labeled GMA as a “lame duck president” who feels “insecure”.
Lagman said that “an incumbent who is at the onset of her midterm, with two more State of the Nation Addresses to deliver and 1,071 days more to serve is never a lame duck.”
The Bicol solon cited that the Webster’s New World Dictionary defines lame duck as “a disabled, ineffectual or helpless person; an elected official whose term extends beyond the time of the election at which he or she was not reelected” and the American Heritage Dictionary defines the terms as “an elected officeholder or group continuing in office during the period between failure to win an election and the inauguration of a successor.”
Lagman said that a lame duck is a holdover official or an incumbent whose term is shortly to expire after an election for the position he holds for which he did not run, was not eligible or was not reelected. As far as the President is concerned, this will only happen between the May 2010 elections and the expiration of her term a month thereafter.
According to Lagman, when the President said in her SONA that she is “not an obstacle to anyone’s ambition” but “will not stand idly by when anyone gets in the way of the national interest and tries to block the national vision”, she was “simply warning early presidential wannabes whose obstinate political ambitions and cheap gimmickry may border on obstructionism or transgress the limits of critical concern.”
“Those who took offense at the President’s warning or considered themselves as her likely targets, showed their guilty conscience. The President obviously hit the bull’s eye.” Lagman added.
Lagman underscored that the President need not “provide a categorical statement on her exit from Malacañang” as reportedly demanded by some senators because the “Constitution unequivocally provides the duration of her term which expires after six years or on June 30, 2010.”
In response to the senators’ criticism where the President would get the money to fund her agenda for development and progress, Lagman pointed out that the sources of financing, with least reliance on foreign borrowings, were identified in the SONA as follows:
“P1 trillion from state revenues, with tax reforms and firm orders to BIR and Customs to hit their targets. P300 billion from state corporations. The balance from government financial institutions, private sector investments, local government equity and our bilateral and multilateral partners.”