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President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (2001- present) – the 14th president of the Republic of the Philippines and the daughter of the former president Diosdado Macapagal. She is the second Filipino president of our nation, next to the late President Cory Aquino.
PGMA entered politics last 1992 election running for the position of a senator. She was ranked as the 13th newly elected senator of the country and was given a three-year term. During the 1995 election, she was re-elected topping the senatorial elections with nearly 16 million votes.
She filed over 400 bills and was able to authored/sponsored 55 laws including Anti – Sexual Harassment Law, Indigenous People’s Rights law and Export Development Act.
She runs for vice presidency in the 1998 election under the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats Party. She garnered more than twice the votes garnered by her opponent Senator Edgardo Angara. Supposedly, Arroyo will run for president on that election but she was persuade by President Fidel V. Ramos and leaders of her party to seek for the vice presidency with running mate house speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. as their presidential candidate. On June 30, 1998 she began her term as the Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines. She was the first female Vice President of the Philippines in the history of the country.
After former President Estrada was throw out as being the president, the Supreme Court declared the presidency vacant on January 20, 2001. At noon, GMA was sworn in as the President of the Philippines by Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.
In early 2004 faced a tough election campaign against his opponent which is a friend of Estrada and popular actor Fernando Poe Jr., Police General Panfilo Lacson, former Senator Raul Roco and evangelist Eddie Villanueva. Parliamentary and federal form of government, job creation, universal health insurance, anti-terrorism and anti-illegal drugs were her campaign platforms.
Arroyo won the 2004 election with a margin of over a million votes against her closest opponent, Fernando Poe Jr. Last June 30, 2004, she took her oath of office as the president of the Philippines. She delivered her first inaugural speech at the Quirino Grandstand in manila before her departure for CebuCity for her oath taking which was the first time of a Philippine President to take oath outside Luzon.
A lot of impeachment complaints were filed against Arroyo although none of the cases reached the required endorsement. A lot of issues are thrown to the President until present such as the CHA-CHA, ZTE deal and other issues against the president.
She focuses on economy in her term as the president. Economic growth in terms of gross domestic product has increased during her term from 2001 to the first quarter of 2008 which was considered higher than in the administration of the previous presidents. The Philippine economy grew at its fastest pace in three decades in 2007. She earned praise from the former classmate in Georgetown, former US president Bill Clinton on how Arroyo handle the economy and for her tough decisions which put the Philippine economy back in shape.
Last July 29, 2009, Arroyo delivered her State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2009 at Batasan Pambansa in which she focuses her report on the economic stability of the country. The residents of the Philippines were having different comments of her report. There were both positive and negative feedbacks of the latest SONA of the president. The public were saying that they didn’t feel the improvements of the economy but others said that it depends to the people to seek jobs.
Currently, the president continues her term and will be ended next year 2010.