After her term ends in June 2019, Arroyo says she will write her memoir
ILOILO CITY — Former president and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has cited the big-ticket projects under her presidency which she said were instrumental in the economic and investment surge in Iloilo.
Amid perceptions that she was eyeing to be prime minister when the country shifts to a federal form of government, Arroyo said she would focus on writing her memoir after her third and last term ends in June 2019.
Speaking before a press conference at the Iloilo Flood Control Project in Barangay Buhang in Jaro District here, Arroyo cited the Iloilo International Airport, the radial road project, the flood control project, and the sale of the old Iloilo airport site to property developer Megaworld Corp. as among her administration’s achievements.
“Many plans were made before (my administration) but funded during our time…(The projects are) the infrastructure backbone that has made Iloilo what it is today,” Arroyo said.
Arroyo served nine years as president from 2001 to 2010, including three years of the unfinished term of deposed president Joseph Estrada (2001 to 2004). As the country’s vice president then, she assumed Estrada post in January 2001 after he was forced to step down amid a popular uprising.
She said the Iloilo International Airport was conceptualized before her term but only funded and inaugurated during her administration.
“The (flood control project) was totally mine,” Arroyo said.
She recalled that the National Economic Development Authority initially disapproved the project, but she overruled the agency and pushed for the implementation of the project.
The project was credited for almost eliminating flooding in flood-prone areas in the city.
“Before the flood control project, nobody wanted to invest in Iloilo. But with no flood now, investors are rushing to Iloilo,” Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor, said at the same press conference.
Arroyo, who was a guest at the fiesta of Passi City in Iloilo on Sunday, said she was “very happy” to visit Iloilo.
“I’m happy to what Iloilo has become (because) a lot of possibilities were made open during my time,” she said.
Repeatedly asked to comment on her plans after her term ends, Arroyo said: “I will write my memoirs. That’s all I know.”
In 2002, Arroyo announced that she would not be running in the 2004 elections. She later changed her mind.
Her presidency was ridden with graft scandals, including a presidential project on bridges, many of which were later deemed questionable and irregular. /ee