MANILA - Former President and now-Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been designated as a Deputy Speaker in the House of Representatives.
In an ambush interview, Arroyo said she will represent the Central Luzon bloc of the lower chamber.
The 69-year-old lawmaker said bloc president and Bulacan Rep. Linabelle Villarica nominated her for the post.
"We had our lunch together and then our president Linabelle Villarica, she told our fellow members, 'We would like to nominate our former President to be our representative as Deputy Speaker' so I was very glad and clapped, okay, approve, approve. That's how it goes," she said.
The Supreme Court last July 19 junked a plunder case against Arroyo, paving for her release from Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC).
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Accompanied by husband Mike Arroyo, she returned to VMMC today for her twice-a-week therapy. She also donated dialysis equipment to the hospital.
On August 9, Arroyo filed a motion asking the Sandiganbayan 4th Division to allow her to travel abroad.
The Sandiganbayan has had a standing hold departure against Arroyo since 2012 because of her pending graft charges over the allegedly anomalous NBN-ZTE deal. She would need the anti-graft court's permission before making trips outside the country.
Arroyo plans to visit Germany on September 20 to 29, 2016 to consult medical experts on her condition and health. She will also fly to France and Hong Kong in the coming months.