Arroyo to run for House seat anew in Pampanga, son says

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 24 2021 10:17 PM | Updated as of Sep 24 2021 10:38 PM

Then-Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo  Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File
Then-Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during the Third Regular Session of the 17th Congress during President Duterte's State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 23, 2018. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will seek a fresh term as congressional representative of Pampanga's second district next year, her son said Friday.

Mikey Arroyo told ABS-CBN News his mother has accepted a certificate of nomination and acceptance issued by the Lakas-CMD for that position. 

“She’s accepted the CONA that means it’s a go right,” said Mikey, who is the current congressional representative of Pampanga's second district.

He said he was the one who convinced her mother to stage a comeback to Congress.

“I won’t run for any position. I will devote my time to be her campaign manager," Mikey said, adding he has been trying to convince her for the past year.

If the former President wins in her home province, it will be her 4th non-consecutive term as congresswoman of that district, having served from 2010-2013, 2013-2016 and 2016-2019 under the Aquino and Duterte administrations. 

Arroyo became the nation’s 1st female House Speaker in 2018-2019 after a controversial leadership change, ousting then Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. It upstaged President Rodrigo Duterte’s 2018 State of the Nation Address.

Mikey however said there are no conversations about her going for the Speakership of the incoming 19th Congress. 

“No, that is not in the conversation, that is not in the conversation," he said.

The incumbent Speaker, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, earlier told ABS-CBN this week that he will be seeking another term as his province’s congressional representative.

While the Constitution leaves the selection of the Speaker of the House to the chamber’s members, representatives generally defer to whoever enjoys the support of the incumbent President. 

Duterte, who is barred from seeking another term as President, is running for Vice President. 

Alvarez is eligible for one more term as Davao del Norte 1st District Representative. He has since moved to the Partido Reporma after leaving Duterte’s PDP-Laban.

Before serving as President from 2001 to 2010, Arroyo served as the country’s 1st female Vice-President from 1998-2001 and Senator from 1992 to 1998.

The former leader was jailed in 2011 under the administration of arch critic, then-President Benigno Aquino III, after being accused of stealing P366 million in state lottery funds meant for charity programs while she was in office.

Arroyo was detained in a military hospital for nearly five years before the Supreme Court dismissed her corruption charges in 2016. The top tribunal threw out the case, citing insufficient evidence.

The late Aquino questioned the ruling, saying she should be held accountable for the mismanagement of funds that were supposed "to alleviate the suffering of many of our countrymen".

When Duterte succeeded Aquino in 2016, the former said he was willing to pardon Arroyo.

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