FORMER president now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday confirmed her designation as House Deputy Speaker for the 17th Congress.
On the sidelines of her visit to Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) to donate dialysis machines, Arroyo said she was nominated by the lawmakers from Central Luzon to represent them and be one of the Deputy Speakers.
She said President Rodrigo Duterte and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez agreed on her nomination which will be announced in the plenary sometime soon.
“I am a Deputy Speaker,” Arroyo said, when asked if she will be handling a juicy committee in the House.
Accompanied by her husband former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, Rep. Arroyo donated two units of dialysis machines for the patients of VMMC who are undergoing treatment for renal diseases.
Arroyo was placed under hospital arrest at the VMMC for more than four years over a plunder case stemming from the alleged misuse of confidential funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
According to Arroyo, she was very grateful to the VMMC because doctors and staff treated her as a patient and not as a prisoner.
“I will always be grateful to the VMMC staff. They treated me as a patient, they took care of me. That’s why me and my family will help them and other patients,” Arroyo said, as she and Mr. Arroyo signed the Deed of Donation.
Mr. Arroyo also announced the family’s plan to donate some 20 wheelchairs to the VMMC patients. Yesterday was the 109th birthday of Mr. Arroyo’s mother, Lourdes Tuazon-Arroyo.
The Supreme Court dismissed her plunder case because the prosecutors failed to prove her guilt.
As a Deputy Speakers Arroyo vowed to actively participate in crafting vital measures.
“Well what we see as our work is to help the legislative agenda of the administration of President Duterte. So there’s a lot of work to be done. We’re waiting for the committees to start deliberating on them,” she said.
Arroyo said she had a lot of bills filed in the 17th Congress.
“You know even when I was absent, many of my bills were enacted into law. I was active even then. I will be more physically present now,” Arroyo added.
To date there are five Deputy Speakers already named – Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo, Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro, Negros Occidental Rep. Mercedes Alvarez, Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu, and Ilocos Sur Rep. Eric Singson.
Arroyo is one of the 12 Deputy Speakers that the House leadership plans to appoint. (JESTER)