Arroyo monitors Pampanga constituents as ‘Gener’ whips LuzonBy Leila B. Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—She resumed her regular therapy, but former President and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo continued to keep a close watch Monday on her constituents in Pampanga affected by Tropical Storm “Gener,” which battered parts of Luzon as the weather disturbance moved north, according to her spokesperson.
Arroyo directed mayors in her district in Pampanga to provide her with hourly updates on the situation in their areas, said Elena Bautista-Horn.
Arroyo also asked them to prepare for rescue and relief operations for the residents who may be affected by floods, heavy rains and driving winds, and added that evacuation centers have been identified for those who may be displaced.
Horn said Arroyo kept a close eye on Pampanga, even as she resumed her four-times-a-week therapy sessions at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.
The former President has kept a busy schedule since being released last Thursday on P1-million bail for her electoral sabotage case, and visited her home province two days after being set free.
She received a warm welcome in Pampanga and told her fellow Kapampangans that they would never part ways. She also said she could do more, indicating her desire to run again for another term. Horn earlier said Arroyo intends to retain her seat in the 2013 elections.
One of her allies, Quezon Representative Danilo Suarez, said Arroyo is a shoo-in to win the next congressional elections.
“In her district, I think she’s unbeatable,” Suarez said in a phone interview.
Suarez also said the critical sentiment against Arroyo might have mellowed because of compassion for the former President, who has been the target of criticism from the administration.
But Arroyo may not be speaking on highly political matters soon, according to Suarez. He said that when he met with Arroyo in June, he suggested to her to cease and desist from tirades on politics so that they could concentrate on legal issues.
Arroyo is facing several criminal cases, including the non-bailable charge of plunder for the alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds. No warrant for her arrest has been issued in the case, and the Sandiganbayan has allowed her to file a motion for reconsideration on her indictment before the Office of the Ombudsman. She has also been charged with graft for her approval of the national broadband network deal.
Suarez said the House minority would rather have her, if her doctor allows, join deliberations on the 2013 budget, which is part of her expertise.