MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – From a key Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) ally to a full-fledged member of the party.
Former president and now Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Wednesday, October 11, officially joined the party of President Rodrigo Duterte.
She took the oath before House Speaker and PDP-Laban secretary general Panteleon Alvarez, according to Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas.
Former officials of the Arroyo administration and members of her Lakas-CMD party also took their oath as PDP-Laban members alongside the former president:
- Bohol 3rd District Representative Arthur Yap, who was her agriculture secretary
- Nasser Pangandaman Jr., her agrarian reform secretary
- Cagayan Economic Zone Authority chief Raul Lambino, who was Lakas-CMD secretary general
- Camiguin Representative Xavier Jesus Romualdo, whose father was Lakas stalwart
“My joining the PDP-Laban is to consoldiate support for the President. It is a matter of course as we have been talking about this for quite sometime,” Arroyo said in a statement.
Before she joined PDP-Laban, Arroyo was member of the party-led “supermajority.”
She was deputy speaker for Central Luzon until March 2017, when the position was declared vacant. This was done in response to Arroyo’s opposition to the controversial death penalty bill.
Eleven other legislators were booted out of their chairmanships.
Arroyo was under hospital arrest for over 4 years during the term of President Benigno Aquino III in connection with charges that she misused funds of the state-run Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
The Supreme Court acquitted her of plunder in July 2016. – Rappler.com