MANILA- Former president and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday fended off observation that she has taken on activities appearing “presidential” since becoming the fourth highest elected official of the land.
Since becoming the leader of the House of Representatives on July 23, Arroyo has received ambassadors, given out relief goods, and attended groundbreaking ceremonies of several projects, reminiscent of her activities when she was chief executive.
"I can't help it if when I do my duty, people will want to interpret it differently. I cannot be distracted by that. I have to focus," she told reporters in Bulacan after attending the turnover ceremony of dredging equipment.
In 2001, then Vice President Arroyo first took oath as president following the ouster of Joseph Estrada. She was then elected to the post in 2004, serving a total of 9 years in Malacañang, the longest term of a president since the restoration of democracy in 1986.
Aside from carrying out President Rodrigo Duterte's legislative agenda, Arroyo previously said it was part of her job as Speaker to address the needs of the constituents of the members of her chamber.
"That's why from the beginning, I talked about the 2 important functions and you can see, everything I’ve done has always been consistent with what I say," she added.
Arroyo assumed the Speakership in the middle of the onslaught of monsoon rains. She noted that this is the reason why she has been making rounds to distribute aid.
"That's why we've been attending to the needs of the constituents of the districts that were affected by the floods," she said.