MANILA- Former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said Thursday she is retiring from politics when her final term as a lawmaker ends next year.
The 71-year-old Arroyo made the confirmation during an ambush interview with reporters, saying "we all have to move on."
"People do reach retirement age and I was also saying yesterday that one of the blessings of being a Speaker now at this time is that I’ve come to work with the younger congressmen, and seeing how they work, seeing how good they are, I’m very confident that the new generation will be very good in taking over the reins of government," she said.
Arroyo's statement puts an end to speculations that she is eyeing to become prime minister once the country shifts to a federal form of government.
First elected as representative of her home province Pampanga in 2010, Arroyo is currently on her third and last term as a congresswoman.
Prior to her stint at the House of Representatives, Arroyo served as president of the Philippines for nine years.
She first rose to power when she took over leadership of the government in 2001 after the ouster of Joseph Estrada as president. She won her first presidential elections in 2004.
Last month, Arroyo was sworn in as the country's first woman Speaker after a publicly televised power tussle with her predecessor, Davao Del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.