Arroyo and friends share potluck party with QC fire victims | Inquirer News
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Arroyo and friends share potluck party with QC fire victims

/ 03:55 PM April 21, 2012

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

MANILA, Philippines – What began as a post-birthday potluck for former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo became an extended party with those affected by Friday’s fire on Agham Road.

On Saturday, Arroyo’s wellwishers at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center shared the food they brought for the celebration with fire-stricken residents in Quezon City.

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Mayor Jerry Pelayo of Candaba, Pampanga,  said the former President instructed her spokesperson, Len Bautista-Horn, to give away the food for her birthday celebration.

“She [Arroyo] heard of the residents’ plight and told us late Friday night to share what we will bring with the residents,” Pelayo said in a phone interview.

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Arroyo, who now represents Pampanga in the House of Representatives, was allowed to hold a party at the VMMC where she is under detention to celebrate her 65th birthday last April 5.

The Pasay City court, however, limited the guests to 500 people and directed that the party be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. only.

The former President is facing electoral sabotage charges for allegedly rigging the 2007 senatorial elections in the sala of Judge Jesus Mupas of Pasay City Regional Trial Court Branch 112.

Aroyo’s  birthday was on April 5 but the celebration was delayed as she was afflicted with shingles.

According to Pelayo, Saturday’s gathering was a time for Pampanga’s local leaders to greet the congresswoman.

“There were no VIPs, no Cabinet secretaries, no talk of politics. It was just some 500 local officials including barangay leaders,” he said.

The Candaba mayor noted that Saturday was also the 15th death anniversary of Arroyo’s father, the late former President Diosdado Macapagal.

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Pelayo said that Arroyo’s guests offered to bring food for the celebration and that she did not have to spend anything.

Native Pampanga delicacies such as buro, as well as grilled fish, adobo, salted egg,  rice cakes, corn, etc were neatly wrapped in banana leaves, while five whole roasted pigs starred as  the center piece.

Arroyo’s aides brought part of the spread to residents along Agham Road who lost their homes in Friday’s fire.

At around 10 a.m., a Mass was held at the VMMC covered court where the celebration was held soon after.

According to Pelayo, in attendance were members of the Macapagal clan, including Arroyo’s sister Cielo, her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo, their children and grandchildren.

“She was very happy,” Pelayo said, noting it was the first time that the former President was with many of her provincemates since her hospital detention.

The party also featured a blue themed birthday cake whose candles Arroyo gamely blew.

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TAGS: birthday, Festive events, Fire, Food, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Politics, QC fire victims
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