Running for Congress was a gross miscalculation made by Gloria Arroyo

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo earned much criticism two years ago when she announced her decision to seek a congressional seat in the 2nd district of her home province Pampanga once her term as President ends. The speculation at that time was this: given the fact that her allies would almost certainly retain control of the House of Representative, she will most likely become the Speaker.

Once in Congress, she and her minions would then push for charter change, with her as the Prime Minister. But alas, the numerical superiority of Lakas Kampi CMD dwindled when its members shifted allegiances (mostly to the now ruling Liberal Party) before and after the May 10, 2010 polls.

Then President Gloria Arroyo filing her certificate of candidacy for congresswoman in 2009 (credits: Xinhua News Agency)

Obviously, those aforementioned scenarios never materialized. And right now, she is facing an arrest warrant for electoral sabotage (in connection to the 2007 senatorial polls) – which means there is no way for her to travel overseas anymore. As Arroyo herself noted in a radio interview shortly before filing her candidacy in 2009, being a congresswoman will not give her immunity from charges against her.

Congressional immunity, after all, applies only to cases with a penalty of not more than six years. Article VI, Section 11 of the 1987 Constitution says:”A Senator or Member of the House of Representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session. No Member shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in the Congress or in any committee thereof.”

Therefore, I find it interesting why Arroyo still insisted on running for Congress instead of just letting her son Mikey seek a third and final term. With the likelihood of her spending this year’s Christmas season in detention looming in the horizon, that decision now appears to be a gross miscalculation on GMA’s part.

Arroyo should have not run for Congress. Instead, she must have left the Philippines shortly after Benigno Aquino III was sworn in as president. She can go to a country where we do not have an existing extradition treaty. Not a tough task, since the Philippines has forged an extradition treaty with just eight countries and two territories. Or better yet, she can flee to a country with no existing diplomatic relations with the Philippines (like Taiwan, for instance).

Gloria Arroyo and US President Barack Obama at the White House (2009)

Knowing that it took a year and a half before the Aquino government officially filed charges against her, she might now be regretting having chosen to run as a district representative instead of preemptively running away from charges against her. Once a globetrotting president, Gloria Arroyo nowadays can no longer travel abroad without the consent of Malacanang and Department of Justice. Once feted by US President Barack Obama, Spain’s King Juan Carlos, and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi (now deceased), the former leader is now staring at a possible hospital arrest. What a fall from grace!

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Mark Pere Madrona

The Filipino Scribe (TFS) is managed by Mark Pere Madrona, a multi-awarded writer and licensed professional teacher from the Philippines. Mr. Madrona earned his master’s degree in history from the University of the Philippines-Diliman last 2020. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from the same university back in 2010. His area of interests includes Philippine journalism, history, and politics as well as social media. Know more about him here:

10 thoughts on “Running for Congress was a gross miscalculation made by Gloria Arroyo

  1. She should never have been President, one of long line of inept, incompetent and corrupt chief of state. Did she accomplished anything of note in her eight years in office, except maybe enriched herself ?

    1. Thanks for your comment. I do think she has done lots of significant things for our country, but the problem is, those have been marred by serious allegations of wrongdoings.

  2. She has done a lot of things to our country with in just a short period of time and people were enjoying that right now, those BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) otherwise known as call centers were one of his project, if you know someone who is a teacher they will be able to answer you of the good things that she did to them and one of that is to raise their salary. Many people are enjoying her projects. The only thing that make her look corrupt is her husband, he used her so much to the point that she forgot her rule to our country. As of the election sabotage is don’t have any idea but i have comments though, people always forget all the things that you have done to them, criticize all the works that you do with out realizing how hard it is to lead a country where everyone in the office is corrupt even before your she sat that seat, furthermore people always see the dirt but not the other way around. In going to predict that the present president will also undergone the same thing with the former. Haven’t you noticed something? Everything seems like a cycle, historians often used the term Dynastic Cycle where in every dynasty will fall and another one will grow. So BEWARE….. Thank you…

      1. Hi! Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate it when readers react to what I wrote. Re your first comment: objectively speaking, the former president has indeed done a lot for our country. However, allegations of corruption will always tarnish her legacy unless those issues have been resolved.

        Re the video: this was mentioned by my UP history prof in our class a few years ago. However, I think the evidence linking Antonio Luna to Ysidra Cojuangco hasn’t been established solidly yet. This must be investigated further.

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