Learn more about Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
14th President of the Philippines
4th President of the 5th Republic
| Assumed office |
January 20, 2001
|Vice President(s)|| Teofisto Guingona (2001–2004)|
Noli de Castro (2004–present)
|Preceded by||Joseph Estrada|
11th Vice President of the Philippines
3rd Vice President of the 5th Republic</br>
| In office|
June 30, 1998 – January 20, 2001
|President||Joseph Ejercito Estrada|
|Preceded by||Joseph Ejercito Estrada|
|Succeeded by||Teofisto T. Guingona, Jr.|
|Born|| April 5, 1947|
San Juan, Rizal
|Political party||Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats / Kabalikat ng Mamamayang Pilipino|
|Spouse||Jose Miguel Arroyo|
Gloria Macaraeg Macapagal-Arroyo (born April 5, 1947) is the 14th and current president of the Philippines. She is the country's second female president after Corazon C. Aquino. She is the daughter of former President Diosdado Macapagal.
Prior to becoming president, Arroyo was the country's first female vice president. She was launched into the presidency in 2001 by the EDSA II that ousted Joseph Ejercito-Estrada from power amid accusations of widespread corruption. Arroyo was elected to a six-year term in 2004, defeating actor Fernando Poe, Jr.
In 2005, Arroyo was selected as the fourth most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine. She is ranked as number 45 on Forbes magazine's list of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women in 2006.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
 Early life
Arroyo was born Gloria Macaraeg Macapagal to parents, politician Diosdado Macapagal and his wife, Evangelina Macaraeg Macapagal. She spent the first years of her life in Lubao, Pampanga with her two older siblings from her father's first marriage.<ref name=CBIY>Current Biography International Yearbook 2002</ref> At the age of four, she became jealous of her newborn brother and she chose to live with her maternal grandmother in Iligan City.<ref name=Time>TIME Pacific | Glory, Gloria! | January 29, 2001 | NO. 4</ref> She stayed there for three years, then split her time between Mindanao and Manila until the age of 11.<ref name=Time/>
In 1961, when Arroyo was just 14 years old, her father was elected as president. She moved with her family into Malacañang Palace in Manila. She attended Assumption Convent for her elementary and high school education, graduating valedictorian in 1964. Arroyo then studied for two years at Georgetown University's prestigious Walsh School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C. where she was a classmate of former United States President Bill Clinton and achieved consistent Dean's list status.<ref>Gloria Arroyo, The Most Powerful Women - Forbes.com</ref> She then earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Assumption College, graduating magna cum laude in 1968.
In 1968, Arroyo married lawyer and businessman Jose Miguel Arroyo of Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, who she had met while still a teenager.<ref name=CBIY/> They had three children, Juan Miguel (born 1969), Evangelina Lourdes (born 1971) and Diosdado Ignacio Jose Maria (born in 1974). She pursued a Master's Degree in Economics from the Ateneo de Manila University (1978) and a Doctorate Degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines (1985).<ref>Office of the President - Biography</ref> From 1977 to 1987, she held teaching positions in different schools, notably the University of the Philippines and the Ateneo De Manila University. She became chairperson of the Economics Department at Assumption College.
In 1987 she was invited by President Corazon Aquino to join the government as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry. She was promoted to Undersecretary two years later. In her concurrent position as Executive Director of the Garments and Textile Export Board, Arroyo oversaw the rapid growth of the garment industry in the 1980s.
Although her father served as president of the Philippines, Arroyo did not enter politics until 1992, twenty-seven years after her father left office. She was elected to the Philippine Senate in 1992. She was re-elected in 1995, topping the senatorial elections with nearly 16 million votes, the highest number of votes received by any politician for any position in Philippine electoral history.<ref name=CBIY/>
As a legislator, Arroyo filed over 400 bills and authored or sponsored 55 laws of economic importance during her tenure as senator, including the Anti-Sexual Harassment Law, the Indigenous People's Rights Law, and the Export Development Act.<ref name=CBIY/>
 Vice Presidency
In 1998, Arroyo briefly considered a run for the presidency but was convinced by President Fidel V. Ramos to join the ruling LAKAS Party as the running mate of its presidential candidate, House Speaker Jose De Venecia. De Venecia and Arroyo ran a nationwide campaign supported by Ramos and the powerful LAKAS machinery. Arroyo won as vice president with almost 13 million votes, more than twice the votes of her closest opponent, Senator Edgardo Angara. But De Venecia lost to the popular incumbent vice president, Joseph Estrada.
Arroyo began her term as Vice President on June 30, 1998. Shortly after, she was appointed by Estrada to the cabinet as Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, where her main duty was to oversee the government's social programs for the poor.
She resigned from the Cabinet in October 2000, distancing herself from President Estrada, who was accused of corruption by a former political supporter, Chavit Singson, Governor from Ilocos Sur, who later turned out to be an ally of Arroyo. Arroyo joined civil society and Filipinos in calling for the president's resignation.
On January 20, 2001, after days of political turmoil and street protests, the Supreme Court declared the presidency vacant. The military and the national police had earlier withdrawn their allegiance to Estrada and shifted it to Arroyo. Arroyo was sworn in the same day as the 14th president of the Philippines by Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.
The ousting of Estrada would later be known as EDSA II, after the 1986 EDSA Revolution that brought down the administration of Ferdinand Marcos. EDSA is a reference to Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, a highway in metropolitan Manila that was the main site of the demonstrations.
Estrada later questioned the legitimacy of the High Court's declaration when he sought to reclaim the presidency but the Supreme Court upheld the legitimacy of Arroyo's succession. Although Estrada and his adherents never recognized Arroyo as the rightful president, she was still able to wield the powers and privileges of the presidency.
 Succession in 2001
Arroyo's succession to the presidency in January 2001 united the country's then political opposition against the recently deposed president Joseph Estrada, who was hounded with corruption charges. Despite the people's showing of support, and the recognition of Arroyo's mandate by the Supreme Court, Estrada and the rest of the opposition questioned Arroyo's legitimacy as president. Protesters numbering in the thousands marched to the presidential palace on May 1 and demanded Estrada, who had previously been arrested on charges of plunder, be released and reinstated. The protesters refused to be pacified and violence ensued. In response, protesters and prominent political leaders were arrested. Arroyo eventually stopped the protests and survived the first serious challenge of her administration, the first of in the coming years. Support for the opposition and Estrada subsequently dwindled after the victory of administration allied candidates in the midterm elections that was held later that same month. Freed from the threats of a weakened opposition and guaranteed of support from both houses of Congress, the new Arroyo administration began to face its biggest challenge— reforming the country's struggling economy and corrupt government.
Arroyo outlined her vision for the country as "building a strong republic" throughout her tenure. Her agenda consists of building up a strong bureaucracy, lowering crime rates, increasing tax collection, improving economic growth, and intensifying counter-terrorism efforts.
Arroyo, a practicing economist, has made the economy the focus of her presidency. Economic growth in terms of gross domestic product has averaged 4.6% during the Arroyo presidency from 2001 up to the end of 2005. This is higher than previous recent presidents when compared to the 3.8% average of Aquino, the 3.7% average of Ramos, and the 2.8% average of Joseph Estrada. Inflation during the Arroyo presidency has been the lowest since 1986, averaging 5.3%.<ref>The best president after Marcos</ref> But the result is pretty different if you consider the contribution of the OWFs, who send money from abroad in order to support their families. "...the poverty situation (has) not improved" (The Manila Times, October 24, 2006). 2006 the budget returned to a deficit of P 16.2 billion.
Late in 2001, Arroyo implemented her new policy which is officially called "Holiday Economics". Under this policy, the government will adjust holidays to form longer weekends (Example: If June 12 — Philippine Independence Day — is a Wednesday, the holiday will be moved to a Friday or a Monday to connect with the weekend). The primary purposes of this policy to strengthen the national economy through tourism and travel, and to give Filipinos more time to spend with their families. Holiday Economics began as an 11-day holiday in late 2001 from December 22, 2001 until January 1, 2002. The extensive holiday alienated businessmen, workers and even sparked criticism among politicians. Among her allies who became critical of Holiday Economics was former president Fidel V. Ramos, who cited the loss of productivity as crucial as well as the fact that workers get deprived of their earnings. The policy went into full force in 2002 although critics claimed that it unnecessarily breaks certain traditions (Example: Labor Day must only be celebrated on May 1). Businessmen often complained that the government was always too slow and too late to announce when the holidays will take effect. To this day, people demand that a full-year schedule of holidays be released during the year before so that appropriate calendars can be printed well in advance.
While Arroyo's holiday policy is often portrayed as a booster for tourism, Filipino columnist Nini Cabaero stated that Holiday Economics is actually the president's political tool to appease her critics . Cabaero emphasized this by looking at the facts that Arroyo declared a holiday in Metro Manila the same day she gave her 2005 State of the Nation Address. Her article suggested that the holiday was meant to minimize people from getting involved in rallies organized against the administration.
 Oakwood Mutiny
On July 27, 2003, Arroyo faced another rebellion against her regime when more than three hundred renegade junior officers and soldiers of the armed forces of the Philippines mutinied and seized a hotel and a shopping mall in Makati City, financial capital of the Philippines. The mutineers surrendered after a 22 hour standoff upon reaching terms for their peaceful surrender.
 2004 election
Despite announcing in Baguio City on December 30, 2002, that she would not contest the presidential elections of 2004, Arroyo changed her mind and decided to seek a new six-year term. During a large gathering in her home province of Pampanga, Arroyo declared that she had decided to "defer her retirement," citing the growing clamor from her supporters to run in the election. Because of this turnaround, her popularity rating suffered, but only temporarily as events were to turn out.
The 2004 election was seen as a chance for Arroyo to solidify the credibility of her administration, which was marred by questions of legitimacy since its 2001 rise to power. Arroyo fought a bitter campaign with the opposition candidate, Joseph Estrada's best friend, fellow popular film actor Fernando Poe, Jr. She was commonly seen as the intellectual heavyweight, as opposed to Poe, who did not finish high school. Other candidates were former Senator Raul Roco, Senator Panfilo Lacson, and evangelist Eduardo Villanueva.
Arroyo lagged behind Poe in the polls prior to the campaign season, but her popularity steadily climbed to surpass Poe's. This success was later attributed to her political machinery, the K4 Coalition dominated by the LAKAS Party (she assumed co-chairmanship of LAKAS with De Venecia in 2002); her choice of running mate, the popular senator, Noli De Castro; her endorsement by influential religious groups; and the loyal support of provinces such as Cebu and Pampanga, among others.
As predicted by the later polls, she won the presidential election in 2004, with a narrow margin of a million votes over her closest rival, Poe.
Allegations that her campaign funds used taxpayers' money emerged during the campaign when the national elections were in full swing. Arroyo's victory was marred by accusations of cheating from her rivals. Minor irregularities were discovered during the elections but cheating and corruption on a nationwide scale similar to events marring past national elections were not proven by the president's accusers.
Congress proclaimed Arroyo the winner of the election on June 24, 2004, more than a month after election day. This makes her only the fourth Philippine president to be elected while in office and only the third to a second term (Presidents Quirino and Garcia, serving the unexpired terms of their predecessors, were elected to the presidency in 1949 and 1957 respectively; Presidents Quezon and Marcos were reelected to second terms in 1941 and 1969 respectively).
She took her oath of office on June 30, 2004, on the island of Cebu, the first Philippine President to be inaugurated there. This was done in gratitude for the support given to her by the people of Cebu during the election. In a break with tradition, she delivered her inaugural address in Manila before departing for Cebu for her inauguration.
 Iraq War
On July 20, 2004, President Arroyo ordered that the small contingent in Iraq sent by the Philippines be withdrawn immediately after Angelo de la Cruz was taken hostage by the terrorist group headed by Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The Filipino contingent was scheduled to withdraw from Iraq in August of that year but the President withdrew earlier than expected, acceding to the kidnappers' demands in order to save the life of De La Cruz. President Arroyo said "…when it comes to showing off to the world, and the life of a Filipino citizen, the life of our citizens come first." Arroyo faced much international criticism for this, especially from the United States and members of the coalition in Iraq. Among her critics was Australian Prime Minister John Howard, who commented, "It is not showing off when you continue to fight in Iraq after a terrorist incident against your country. It is an international obligation that you are expected to fulfill." Arroyo later countered this statement by saying that the U.S. government and others in the coalition in Iraq "held no regard for the lives of their citizens" .
 Other scandals
In August 2003, Jose Miguel Arroyo, the presidents's husband and first gentleman, was accused of corruption by the political opposition. Jose Miguel Arroyo was accused of siphoning off campaign funds and contributions to a bank account under the fictitious name of "Jose Pidal", aside from rampant speculation that he cheated on his wife. The accusations were never legally substantiated but left the president frustrated and very angry with her husband. The two have already been reconciled.
In August 2006 opposition lawmaker Cayetano claimed that “immediate members” of the family of Mrs. Arroyo were hiding a multimillion-dollar bank account in Hypo-und Vereins Bank AG, in Munich, Germany. The account number provided by the congressman was 87570-23030-32100-6271-571. According to the Philippine newspaper, The Daily Tribune, the amount found in the “secret bank account runs to the tune of $500 million,”. (The Daily Tribune, 08/20/2006). The bank issued a statement where the account number 87-570-23030-32100-62771571 (!) is non-existent and Mr. Arroyo has no deposits in the bank.
 Election rigging allegations
In the middle of 2005, Samuel Ong who is a former deputy director of the country's National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) claimed to have audio tapes of wiretapped conversations between President Arroyo and an official of the Commission on Elections. The contents of the tape allegedly proved, according to Ong, that the 2004 national election was rigged by Arroyo in order to win by around one (1) million votes. (see partial transcript of alleged conversations). On June 27, Arroyo admitted to inappropriately speaking to a Comelec official, claiming it was a mere "lapse in judgement", but denied influencing the outcome of the election. Attempts to impeach Arroyo failed later that year.
Two witnesses, Antonio Rasalan and Clinton Colcol, stepped forward on August 2006, claiming involvement in an alleged plot to alter the results for the May 2004 elections. Rasalan claimed that he was fully convinced that the election returns presented at the House of Representatives were manufactured and had replaced the original documents.
Colcol, a tabulator for the Commission on Elections (Comelec), said that Arroyo only received 1,445 votes, while Poe received 2,141 in South Upi, Maguindanao during the May 2004 elections.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
 Executive Order No. 464 and Calibrated Preemptive Response
Since late September, Arroyo issued an executive order stating that demonstrations without permits would be pre-emptively stopped. Then members of the military testified in Congressional hearings that they were defying a direct order not to testify about their knowledge of the election scandal. The opposition and militant groups have accused the Arroyo administration of moving towards an undeclared version of martial law. The "no permit, no rally" policy followed by the Calibrated Preemptive Response policy are both aimed at regulating street rallies. There is the issuance of Executive Order No. 464 forbidding government officials under the executive department from appearing in congressional inquiries without President Arroyo's prior consent.   These measures were challenged before the Supreme Court, which declared them unconstitutional.
 State of Emergency
The declaration of Proclamation No. 1017 gave Gloria Macapagal Arroyo the power to issue warrantless arrests and to take over private institutions that run public utilities.
The President, through the Department of Education, suspended classes in elementary and high school levels. Colleges and universities suspended classes. International schools did not because they found out too late. By the virtue of PP 1017, she declared a State of Emergency for the whole country in an attempt to quell rebellion, stop lawless violence and promote peace and stability, which feared might be a prelude to the institution of martial law. The government's first move after declaring the State of Emergency was to disperse demonstrators, particularly the groups picketing along EDSA. It was reported that former Philippine president Corazon Aquino was among those that protested, along with leftist and extreme right activists. A number of public figures were reported to have been arrested.
After the foiling of the plot and the dispersal of the rallies, PP 1017 continued for a week on threats of military plots (such as the military stand-off of Feb. 26 at Fort Bonifacio headed by Col. Ariel Querubin), violence, illegal rallies and public disturbance.
The declaration was used to justify a crackdown on leftist political leaders as well as raids on the offices of media outfits. Six party-list representatives (Satur Ocampo, Teodoro Casiño, and Joel Virador of Bayan Muna, Liza Maza of Gabriela, and Crispin Beltran and Rafael Mariano of Anakpawis) were charged with rebellion. Crispin Beltran of Anakpawis was arrested on February 25 on charges of inciting to sedition and rebellion. To avoid further arrest, the other five found shelter at the Batasan Complex. Beltran up to this date is detained at the Philippine Heart Center (due to the deterioration of his health in prison).
On the Saturday of Feb. 25, the office of the Daily Tribune, a newspaper known as a hard-hitting critic of the Arroyo administration, was raided. The raid created a chilling effect. Media practitioners felt threatened by what was perceived as a form of "creeping Martial Law," with freedom of the press and expression, and the right to information once more under fire. After the raid, an issuance of Journalism Guideline followed, authored by the government in order to cope with the "present abnormal situation" said Chief of Staff Michael Defensor.
The decree was lifted on March 3, 2006. However the opposition, lawyers, and concerned citizens filed a complaint in the Supreme Court contesting the constitutionality of PP 1017. The court, on May 4, declared the proclamation constitutional. However, the court said it was illegal to issue warrantless arrests and seize private institutions.
 Human rights
A May 2006 Amnesty International report<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> expressed concern over the sharp rise in vigilante killings of militant activists and community workers in the Philippines.<ref name="inq-ai">Inq7.net - Killings alarm int'l human rights group</ref> There have been 52 extrajudicial executions of journalists since 1986. Since 2001, there have been 785 extrajudicial killings, politically motivated.<ref name="rwb">A journalist gunned down southeast of Manila</ref>
These violations were alleged to have been committed against left-leaning organizations and partylists including BAYAN, Bayan Muna and Anakpawis. These organizations accuse the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Military for the deaths of these progressives and political opponents. Arroyo has condemned political killings "in the harshest possible terms" and urged witnesses to come forward.<ref name="sona2006">2006 State of the Nation Address</ref>
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Purificacion Quisumbing claims that the United Nations Commission on Human Rights has raised the possibility of blacklisting the Philippines government due to an under-reporting of the human rights situation since 1992.<ref name="inq7-un">Inq7.net - RP courts UN blacklist, warns human rights commission chief</ref>
General Palparan who retired Sept. 11, 2006 has been appointed by President Arroyo to be part of the Security Council. This has alarmed left-leaning political parties about the potential for human rights violations.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
- In a series of 100-peso bills, her name was misspelled "Arrovo"; some bills were released, but most were withdrawn from circulation.
- Even before she became a president, a municipality (town) was named in her honor, Gloria, Oriental Mindoro.
- Arroyo is both Chief Scout of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines and Chief Girl Scout of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines.
- President Arroyo's father is also a president: President Diosdado Macapagal
- That President Arroyo is usually recognized in cartoons with her "Presidential Mole" beside her nose.
 See also
 External links
- Office of the President of the Philippines
- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Official Website
- Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Forum
- Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Fan page
|Vice President of the Philippines|
|President of the Philippines|
2001 – present
Angelo T. Reyes
|Philippine Secretary of National Defense|
Eduardo R. Ermita
| Presidents of the Philippines - List||Image:PhilippinePresidentialSeal.png|
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|NAME||Arroyo, Gloria Macapagal|
|SHORT DESCRIPTION||14th President of the Philippines|
|DATE OF BIRTH||April 5, 1947|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||San Juan, Rizal, Philippines|
|DATE OF DEATH|
|PLACE OF DEATH|
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