MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte was "awesome" in his first year in office, former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said Friday.
Arroyo, now Pampanga representative and deputy speaker in Congress, cited Duterte's war on drugs and his plan to rebuild the country's infrastructure.
"President Rodrigo Duterte has shown awesome leadership and resolve in the many programs that he promised to do during his presidency," Arroyo said.
"In his first year, he managed to institute various bold reforms against illegal drugs and corruption. His Build, build, build initiative is commendable and is a step in the right direction towards achieving inclusive growth," she said.
Arroyo was released from detention three weeks after Duterte took office on June 30 last year. The Supreme Court dismissed plunder charges against her over the alleged misuse of state lottery funds.
Duterte has appointed Arroyo's former cabinet officials to his official family: National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Energy Secretar Alfonso Cusi, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jess Dureza, Solicitor General Jose Calida and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp chairperson Andrea Domingo.
During Arroyo's term as president, Duterte was her anti-crime adviser.