Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's rise, fall and return to power

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 26 2018 03:36 PM | Updated as of Jul 27 2018 08:42 AM

MANILA - She's back.

Politics indeed runs deep in the blood of former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The daughter of former President Diosdado Macapagal, the 71-year-old Arroyo is now back in the political limelight after securing the fourth most powerful position in the land--and not without drama and fanfare. 

Here's a look at Arroyo's rise to power, fall from grace, and recent ascent:

1992: FORAY INTO POLITICS

Arroyo entered politics in 1992 when she was first elected senator. She was re-elected in 1995, garnering nearly 16 million votes.

Among the notable bills authored and sponsored by Arroyo during her stint as senator are the Anti-Sexual Harassment Law, the Thrift Bank Act, and the Indigenous People's Rights Law.

Malacanang Photo

1998: VICE PRESIDENCY

On May 11, 1998, Arroyo ran for vice president alongside presidential candidate Jose de Venecia who lost to President Joseph Estrada.

In the same year, Arroyo became the second most powerful official in the land with Estrada at the helm. She was later appointed secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Romeo Gacad, AFP

2000: LEAVING ESTRADA'S CABINET

After nearly two years in Estrada's Cabinet, Arroyo left her post as social welfare chief and called for the resignation of then-President Estrada.

Romeo Gacad, AFP

2001: ESTRADA OUT, ARROYO IN

Following Estrada's ouster, Arroyo took her oath as the new president of the Philippines on January 20, 2001 before hundreds of thousands of Filipinos in a peaceful military- and church-backed revolution dubbed as EDSA II.

Joel Nito, AFP

2003: THE OAKWOOD MUTINY

On July 27, 2003, around 300 soldiers took over the then-Oakwood Premier at the Ayala Center in Makati City to protest alleged corruption under the Arroyo administration.

Headed by then-Army Capt. Gerardo Gambala and then-Lt. Antonio Trillanes IV of the Philippine Navy, the group called for Arroyo's resignation. 

She declared a state of rebellion.

The mutiny ended following negotiations with the government on the same day.

Romeo Gacad, AFP

2004: FIRST PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

While she initially announced in 2002 that she would not seek the presidency in 2004, Arroyo went on to run for the highest position in the land claiming "there is a higher cause to change society."

She won against movie actor Fernando Poe Jr., but not without contention.

Poe protested his loss to Arroyo but died in December 2004 from a stroke before the case was resolved.

Joel Nito, AFP

2005: 'HELLO GARCI' SCANDAL

One of the biggest political scandals to hit the Philippines was the leak of wiretapped phone calls in 2005 between Arroyo and elections Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.

The recordings, later called the "Hello Garci" tapes, showed Arroyo allegedly discussing the rigging of the 2004 elections with Garcillano. 

While Arroyo never confirmed the tapes, she did apologize publicly in a nationally televised address and owned up to a "lapse in judgment."

Susan Roces, the widow of Poe, later made the famous allegation that Arroyo "stole the presidency, not once but twice."

Senate PRIB

2006: STATE OF EMERGENCY

Amid growing protests against her administration, Arroyo declared a week-long state of national emergency in February 24, 2006, citing a supposed alliance among communist rebels, soldiers and opposition figures in a plot to oust her. 

Luis Liwanag, AFP

2007: THE MANILA PENINSULA SIEGE

On Nov. 29, 2007, soldiers involved in the Oakwood mutiny walked out of their coup d'etat hearing and took over the Manila Peninsula hotel in Makati City to call for Arroyo's resignation anew.

The uprising was quelled in the evening of the same day after troops rammed a tank into the hotel lobby, forcing mutineers to surrender.

Romeo Gacad, AFP

2009: STATE OF EMERGENCY, MARTIAL LAW IN MAGUINDANAO

Arroyo declared a state of emergency in Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City in November 2009 to prevent and suppress lawless violence following the massacre of 58 people, including 32 media workers, in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao. The killings were attributed to the powerful Ampatuan political clan. 

In December of the same year, she placed Maguindanao under martial law citing a threat of rebellion by forces linked to the Ampatuan clan. 

Noel Celis AFP

2010: FROM PRESIDENT TO CONGRESSWOMAN

Arroyo won the congressional seat for Pampanga's second district in 2010 while she was still president, a move her critics saw as an attempt to stay in power by getting elected House Speaker and then leading efforts to amend the charter.

Such allegations were dismissed by Arroyo then simply as "hypothetical."

Noel Celis, AFP

2011: HOSPITAL ARREST

Arroyo was arrested on Nov. 18, 2011 after a Pasay court issued a warrant of arrest against for a complaint on electoral sabotage filed by the Commission on Elections.

The warrant was served at the St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig City where Arroyo was confined over a bone illness.

She was transferred the following month to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City where she would stay under hospital arrest for the next four years.

Bullit Marque, Reuters/Pool

2012: PLUNDER CASE

While under hospital arrest over the election case, Arroyo faced plunder charges filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in July 2012 for alleged misuse of P366 million in Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds.

The Sandiganbayan ordered her arrested in October of the same year, later granting her plea to remain under hospital arrest. 

Bullit Marquez, Reuters/Pool

2016: SUPREME COURT ACQUITTAL

The Supreme Court, voting 11-4, junked the plunder case against Arroyo in July 2016, setting her free. A few days later, she attended her first session in Congress after four years in detention. 

King Rodriguez, Malacanang Photo

2018: RETURN TO POWER VIA SPEAKERSHIP

Minutes before President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his third State of the Nation Address, Arroyo took her oath as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives while Davao del Sur Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, in his capacity as Speaker, fetched the President.

The nationally televised power tussle ended with Arroyo formalizing her ascent to power after Duterte's SONA, taking the votes of the majority.

Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News