Gloria Arroyo starts writing memoirs–in longhand
MANILA, Philippines—Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has started writing her memoirs to make good use of her time at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.
But she faces a barrier of sorts: Pasay City Judge Jesus Mupas had barred her from using computers and cellular phones while under hospital arrest on the charge of electoral sabotage.
According to her spokesperson, Elena Bautista-Horn, Arroyo does not find this a formidable problem, perhaps more so with time as friend. The former professor has gone back to longhand in compiling her memoirs and using scissors and adhesives when she rearranges or edits, a literal rendition of the computer command, “cut and paste.”
Arroyo thus far has used up six pages of yellow pad since she started jotting down ideas during last month’s Christmas holidays.
‘Stone to the edifice’
“It’s her stone to the edifice,” said Bautista-Horn, when asked if the memoirs amounted to the beginnings of an autobiography.
“The point of the former president is that every president adds a stone to the edifice (of the nation). She wants to write about the stone she added to the edifice,” Bautista-Horn added.
Arroyo had already teased the public with a preview released on Thursday, a 19-page paper titled, “It’s the Economy, Student.”
In the paper, she highlighted what she called the tangible improvements she achieved as president for nine years.
Arroyo said the accomplishments in the economic, educational and environmental spheres were part of the “continuum of history.”
“The gains I achieved were built on the efforts of previous leaders. Each successive government must build on the successes and progress of the previous ones: advance the programs that work, leave behind those that don’t,” she said.
She added that she was confident that “I left this nation much stronger than when I came into office.”
The adding-a-stone-to-the-edifice term had been part of the major speeches of Arroyo from the onset of her presidency. The phrase was actually borrowed from her father, the late President Diosdado Macapagal.
Macapagal’s book on his presidency, first published in 1966, bears the title: “A stone for the edifice; memoirs of a President.”
In her second State of the Nation Address in July 2002, Arroyo drew the nation’s attention to her father, saying: “In the corridors of power, in the Palace where I work, past presidents of the Republic sit in their portraits in judgment of me. In this gallery of the highest public servants, none sits in sterner judgment than the man who first led me by the hand into the Palace as a teenager.”
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