Arroyo denies House coup plot anew, says First Lady dragged into 'political fantasy'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 28) — Former president and House Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Sunday again denied planning a coup to oust Speaker Martin Romualdez, and slammed rumors that she was "duped" into thinking that First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos supported it.

"A report is going around that I was 'duped' by a congresswoman into thinking that the alleged House coup had the blessings of the First Lady," her Facebook post read. "I am truly sorry that she should even be dragged into this political fantasy of a House coup — it is disrespectful to her and to her intelligence.

"Whoever is spreading these pathetic rumors are the ones duping the Filipino people, and they should now move on to the serious business of making positive contributions to national progress," the Pampanga representative added.

Arroyo also said "no House coup can ever succeed without the consent of the President," stressing that she did not talk with any House member to "plot, support, encourage or participate in any way" in such overthrow efforts.

"I made a humble contribution to the joining of forces that became the UniTeam, and the resulting supermajority in the House is a major force for delivering our President's agenda. Thus, I would never take any action to destroy it," she added.

Rumors of a plot to oust Romualdez, the first cousin of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., have been circulating after Arroyo was demoted from senior deputy speaker to deputy speaker on May 17. She was replaced by fellow Pampanga lawmaker Dong Gonzales

In her first statement addressing the alleged row, Arroyo admitted she aspired for the speakership after Marcos won the presidency.

"[But] it soon became apparent that he was most comfortable with then Congressman Martin Romualdez as Speaker. I quickly realized the wisdom embedded in that sentiment," she said.

Days after, Romualdez said: "There is still much work to do, so occasional moves to destabilize the House should be nipped in the bud.”

WATCH: Nipped in the bud | Politics as usual

For opposition lawmaker Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the squabble in the lower chamber is not yet over. He urged Romualdez to reveal the "inculpatory details" of the rumored coup. 

RELATED: Arroyo's demotion confirms that she was suspected of plotting vs. Speaker Romualdez, lawmaker says