Celebrating her 72nd birthday, former President and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo wished for the good of the Filipino as she talked about her legacy that she hoped history will remember her for.
Speaking after the 8am mass celebrated in her honor at the San Agustin Church in her hometown Lubao, Pampanga, Speaker Arroyo thanked all the people who had stuck with her through thick and thin. She also she while her legacy may not be as dramatic those of other world leaders, she would like to be remembered as the President who brought fiscal stability to her country after a global crisis that dramatically reduced poverty rate.
“I like to think that my legacy will center around restoring our country’s fiscal stability after the storms on financial crisis here and abroad. The restoration of fiscal stability was the platform for my program that built more and better infrastructures, and that reduced our poverty from 39 percent when I assumed the presidency, to 26 percent when I left the presidency,” she said.
When asked what is her birthday wish, she said it is “the good of the Filipino people always.”
Speaker Arroyo also repeated her earlier statement that she will concentrate on writing her memoirs after she steps down as speaker on June 30, 2019.
But she declared that she plans to be consultant of the Pampanga provincial government so she can continue helping her home province. “Sinabi ni (Pampanga) Governor (Lilia) Pineda na sabihin ko sa inyo na upang patuloy ko pa na matulungan ang Pampanga, ako ay magiging consultant ng probinsya,” Speaker Arroyo said in capampangan.
Speaker Arroyo was joined by her family, husband Atty. Mike Arroyo, children, former Reps. Mikey and Dato and their children, several members of the House of Representatives, Governor Pineda, local officials of Pampanga and numerous friends and families.
Before the mass, Speaker Arroyo joined the opening of the Hot Air Balloon Festival at Pradera Verde in Lubao, Pampanga at 6am with Pineda.
Several ambassadors also personally greeted her as they paid a courtesy call on her in her house in Lubao. They were H.E. Ali Ibrahim Al-Malki, of the State of Qatar, H.E. Daniel Robert Pruce of the United Kingdom and H.E. Songkane Luangmuninthone of Laos.