MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday extended birthday greetings to former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, thanking the incumbent House of Representatives Deputy Speaker for her “advice” and “guidance” on the presidency.
“I would like to extend a very grateful and very joyful happy birthday to former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,” he said in a short video greeting uploaded on his official Facebook page.
Marcos said he would not be able to greet the former president properly without mentioning “all the help and assistance and guidance that you have provided in all of the things that we have been doing.”
“And there are many things that I cannot imagine we would not have been able to do if not for your advice and your guidance on many of these very important issues. So, thank you very much for that, President GMA, and I’ll just add a very, very happy birthday,” he said.
Marcos once described Macapagal-Arroyo as his "secret weapon" during his first participation at the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Bangkok, Thailand in November last year.
He personally invited Macapagal-Arroyo to accompany him during the APEC Summit, noting that her experiences and insights were valuable.
Macapagal-Arroyo supported Marcos during the 2022 presidential elections.
Known by the acronym “GMA,” she was born in San Juan, Rizal on April 5, 1947 to former president Diosdado Macapagal and Dr. Evangelina Macaraeg Macapagal.
She began her professional career as an assistant professor at the Ateneo de Manila University from 1977 to 1987 and professor at the University of the Philippines School of Economics in those same years.
She chaired the Economic Department of Assumption College from 1984 to 1987 before assuming the post of assistant secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry from 1989 to 1992.
Macapagal-Arroyo was elected senator in 1992 and was re-elected in 1995.
On May 11, 1998, she overwhelmingly won the vice presidential race. She was then appointed as secretary of the social welfare department.
This established her as the first woman to hold the country’s second-highest position since its independence from Spain in 1898.
She was sworn in as president in January 2001 as a result of the EDSA II Revolution, which was triggered by the impeachment trial of then-president Joseph Estrada.
When she left Malacañang as the 14th president on June 30, 2010, she likewise set the record for being the first among the former presidential children to be elected to the country’s highest post.
On July 23, 2018, she was sworn in as the 21st Speaker of the House of Representatives, making her the first Filipino woman to occupy the speakership – the fourth top post in the country’s hierarchy after the presidency, vice presidency, and Senate head.
She became Deputy Speaker of the 19th Congress in July 2022. (PNA)