Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Maria Gloria Macaraeg Macapagal (born April 5, 1947) 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001 She was the countrys second female president (after Corazón Aquino)Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumed the presidency at noon onJanuary 20, 2001, following the EDSA II Revolution which oustedthe democratically-elected President Estrada. Arroyo assumedoffice the same day as US President George W. Bush.
First Term (2001-2004)The state of rebellion declared is a government declaration that suspends a number of civil rights for a short period of time. It is a form of martial law that allows a government to suppress protest, detain and arrest people, search private property, read private mail, and listen to phone conversations using wiretaps - all without legal warrants.
2001 Midterm ElectionsThe 2001 legislative elections and local elections were held in the Philippines on May 14, 2001 - four months after Arroyo took office. Independent senatorial candidate Noli de Castro, a former television anchor of TV Patrol of ABS-CBN was announced as the topnotcher. This is the first synchronized national and local elections held after the ouster of Former President Joseph Estrada in January due to a military- backed civilian uprising (popularly known as EDSA II).
Oakwood mutinyThe Oakwood mutiny occurred in the Philippines on July 27, 2003. A group of 321 armed soldiers who called themselves "Bagong Katipuneros" led by Army Capt. Gerardo Gambala and Lt. Antonio Trillanes IV of the Philippine Navy took over the Oakwood Premier Ayala Center (now Ascott Makati) serviced apartment tower in Makati City to show the Filipino people the alleged corruption of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration. They also stated that they saw signs suggesting that the President was going to declare martial law.
2004 Presidential Election In December 2002, Arroyo made the surprise announcement that she would not seek a new term in the Philippine general election, 2004.Ten months later, however, she reversed her position and declared her intention to seek a direct mandate from the people, saying "there is a higher cause to change society... in a way that nourishes our future". Arroyo faced a tough election campaign in early 2004 against Estrada friend and popular actor Fernando Poe, Jr., senator and former police general Panfilo Lacson, former senator Raul Roco, and Christian evangelist Eddie Villanueva. Her campaign platform centered on a shift to a parliamentary and federal form of government, job creation, universal health insurance, anti-illegal drugs, and anti-terrorism.
Second Term (2004-2010) June 30, 2004- Arroyo took her oath of office She chose to first deliver her inaugural address at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila before departing to Cebu City for her oath taking February 24, 2006- The declaration of Proclamation No. 1017 Through the Department of Education, the President suspended classes in elementary and high school levels. In response, colleges and universities suspended classes. By virtue of PP 1017, she declared a State of Emergency for the whole country in an attempt to quell rebellion. The governments first move after the declaration was to disperse demonstrators, particularly the groups picketing along EDSA. Former Philippine president Corazon Aquino was among those that protested, along with leftist and extreme right activists. A number of public figures were reported to have been arrested. May 14, 2007- Legislative and local elections in the Philippines Positions contested included half the seats in the Senate, which are elected for six-year terms, and all the seats in the House of Representatives, who were elected for three-year terms. The duly elected legislators of the 2007 elections joined the elected senators of the 2004 elections to comprise the 14th Congress of the Philippines.
November 29, 2007- The Peninsula Manila Rebellion Detained Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, General Lim and other Magdalo (mutineers) officials walked out of their trial and marched through the streets of Makati City, called for the ouster of President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo, and seized the second floor of The Peninsula Manila Hotel along Ayala Avenue. Former Vice-President Teofisto Guingona also joined the march to the hotel. October 13, 2008- the 4th 97-page impeachment complaint against President Arroyo was filed at the House of Representatives of the Philippines with the required endorsements by Party list Representatives Satur Ocampo, Teodoro Casiño and Liza Maza October 25, 2007- Arroyo granted a pardon to Joseph Estrada in the wake of the massacre of 57 people in Ampatuan town, President Arroyo placed Maguindanao under a state of martial law, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita announced on the morning of December 5, 2009. Malacañang has suspended the writ of habeas corpus in the province except "for certain areas," enabling the military to make arrests without court intervention. This constitutes the first declaration of martial law in the Philippines since 1972, when then-president Ferdinand Marcos imposed military rule over the entire country November 30, 2009- President Arroyo announced on the Philippine Broadcasting Service her congressional bid for the second district of Pampanga
Domestic Policies Economy Arroyo, a practicing economist, has made the economy the focus of her presidency. Based on official (National Economic and Development Authority) figures, economic growth in terms of gross domestic product has averaged 5.0% during the Arroyo presidency from 2001 up to the first quarter of 2008. This is higher than in the administration of the previous recent presidents: 3.8% average of Aquino, 3.7% average of Ramos, and 3.7% average of the Joseph Estrada administration. A controversial expanded value added tax (e-VAT) law, considered the centerpiece of the Arroyo administrations economic reform agenda, was implemented in November 2005, aiming to complement revenue-raising efforts that could plug the countrys large budget deficit.
Charter changeIn 2005, Arroyo initiated a movement for an overhaul of the constitution to transform the present presidential-bicameral republic into a federal parliamentary-unicameral form of government. At her 2005 State of the Nation Address, she claimed "The system clearly needs fundamental change and the sooner the better. Its time to start the great debate on Charter Change".In late 2006, the House of Representatives shelved a plan to revise the constitution through constituent assembly.
Executive Order No. 464 and calibrated preemptive responseIn late September 2005, Arroyo issued an executive order stating that demonstrations without permits would be pre-emptively stopped. Then members of the military testified in Congressional hearings that they were defying a direct order not to testify about their knowledge of the election scandal. There is the issuance of Executive Order No. 464 forbidding government officials under the executive department from appearing in congressional inquiries without President Arroyos prior consent. These measures were challenged before the Supreme Court, which apparently declared some sections as unconstitutional.
Human rights A May 2006 Amnesty International report expressed concern over the sharp rise in vigilante killings of militant activists and community workers in the Philippines. Task Force Usig, a special police unit tasked to probe reported extra-judicial killings, by state run death squads counts 115 murders and says most of these are the result of an internal purge by communist rebels. Human rights groups put the number as high as 830. General Palparan who retired September 11, 2006 has been appointed by President Arroyo to be part of the Security Council. This has alarmed left-leaning political parties about the potential for human rights violations. An independent commission was assembled in August 2006 to investigate the killings. Headed by former Supreme Court Justice Jose Melo, the group known as the Melo Commission concluded that most of the killings were instigated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, but found no proof linking the murder of activists to a "national policy" as claimed by the left-wing groups.
Amnesty proclamation On September 5, 2007, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Amnesty Proclamation 1377 for members of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New Peoples Army; other communist rebel groups; and their umbrella organization, the National Democratic Front. The amnesty will cover the crime of rebellion and all other crimes "in pursuit of political beliefs," but not including crimes against chastity, rape, torture, kidnapping for ransom, use and trafficking of illegal drugs and other crimes for personal ends and violations of international law or convention and protocols "even if alleged to have been committed in pursuit of political beliefs." The National Committee on Social Integration (NCSI) will issue a Certificate of Amnesty to qualified applicants. Implementing rules and regulations are being drafted and the decree will be submitted to the Senate of the Philippines and the House of Representatives for their concurrence. The proclamation becomes effective only after Congress has concurred.
Foreign Policies Proceeding from public ceremony to private talks, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and President George W. Bush meet in the Oval Office Monday, May 19, 2003.
President Arroyo with Russian president Dmitry Medvedev during her visit in Moscow, Russia for St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, June 4– 6, 2009
Iraq War The Arroyo administration has forged a strong relationship with the United States. Arroyo was one of the first world leaders who expressed support for the US-led coalition against global terrorism in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, and remains one of its closest allies in the war on terror. Following the US-led invasion of Iraq, in July 2003 the Philippines sent a small humanitarian contingent which included medics and engineers. These troops were recalled in July 2004 in response to the kidnapping of Filipino truck driver Angelo de la Cruz. With the hostage takers demands met, the hostage was released. The force was previously due to leave Iraq the following month. The early pullout drew international condemnation, with the United States protesting against the action, saying giving in to terrorist demands should not be an option.
ASEAN SummitArroyos foreign policy is anchored on building strong ties with the United States, East Asian and Southeast Asian nations, and countries where overseas Filipino workers work and live. In 2007, the Philippines was host to the 12th ASEAN Summit in Cebu City.
Philippines-Japan Trade Deal On August 21, 2007, Arroyos administration asked the Senate of the Philippines to ratify a $4 billion (£2 billion) trade deal with Japan(signed on 2006 with the former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi), which would create more than 300,000 jobs (by specifically increasing local exports such as shrimp to Japan). Japan also promised to hire at least 1,000 Philippine nurses. The opposition- dominated senate objected on the ground that toxic wastes would be sent to the Philippines; the government denied this due to the diplomatic notes which stated that it would not be accepting Japanese waste in exchange for economic concessions.
Council of Women World LeadersIn keeping with this international mission, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an International network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development.
Fertilizer Fund ScamThe Fertilizer Fund Scam is a political scandal involving the officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and a number of other local and national government officials during the Arroyo administration regarding the misuse of agricultural funds amounting to P728 million and P1.1 billion, which were released in February 3, 2004 and February 11, 2004 respectively. Said funds were allegedly utilized to finance former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s campaign before the May 2004 presidential elections.
Hello Garci Controversy In the middle of 2005, Samuel Ong who is a former deputy director of the countrys National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) claimed to have audio tapes of wiretapped conversations between President Arroyo and an official of the Commission on Elections. According to Ong, the contents of the tape prove that the 2004 national election was rigged by Arroyo in order to win by around one million votes. Two witnesses, Antonio Rasalan and Clinton Colcol, stepped forward in August 2006, claiming involvement in an alleged plot to alter the results for the May 2004 elections. Rasalan claimed that he was fully convinced that the election returns presented at the House of Representatives were manufactured and had replaced the original documents.
National Broadband Network Scandal The Philippine National Broadband Network(NBN) controversy is a political affair that centers upon allegations of corruption primarily involving Former Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Benjamin Abalos, First Gentleman Mike Arroyo and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regarding the proposed government-managed National Broadband Network (NBN) for the Philippines and the awarding of its construction to the Chinese firm Zhong Xing Telecommunication Equipment Company Limited (ZTE), a telecommunications and networking equipment provider. The issue has captivated Filipino politics since it erupted in Philippine media around August 2007, largely through the articles of newspaper columnist Jarius Bondoc of the Philippine Star. It has also taken an interesting turn of events, including the resignation of Abalos as COMELEC chairman, the alleged bribery of congressmen and provincial governors (dubbed as "Bribery in the Palace"), the unseating of Jose de Venecia, Jr. as House Speaker, and the alleged "kidnapping" of designated National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) consultant-turned-NBN/ZTE witness Rodolfo Noel "Jun" Lozada, Jr. De Venecia says that Benjamin Abalos Sr. had wiretapped his phone and threatened to have him killed after he refused to back off from the project. He adds that Abalos also threatened Philippine Star columnist Jarius Bondoc for informing the public of his wrongdoings.
Controversial Dinner party and Ondoy Again, a serious blow marked an another controversy in the Philippines. In July 2009, Arroyo went to New York City to dine with her friends at a lush Le Cirque restaurant and was highly criticized for her supposed outlandish dinner at Le Cirque with the Philippine delegation during her visit to the United States. President Arroyo and her group reportedly had dinner for the cost of $20,000 or P1,000,000 as reported in the New York Post. This has been linked to corruption and anti-Gloria protests to sprawl anger among the poor, and more people went hungry as a result of rising hunger, and also, anti-Gloria coup attempts. In September 2009, Typhoon Ondoy became devastative throughout Metro Manila and Luzon leaving 464 people dead and resulted to massive flooding and landslides. After Benigno Aquino III took office on June 30, 2010, he criticized Arroyo and PAGASA for lack of disaster preparedness and new equipment in the aftermath of Ondoy, Chief Administrator Prisco Nilo was fired and resigned for having a fool-proof forecast as the typhoon struck the metropolis.
Northrail ControversyThe Northrail project is being surrounded by a controversy since 1997, Arroyo signed a Memorandum of agreement with Sinomach and other contractors in 2004, to construct a rail line from Caloocan to Clark Special Economic Zone once to be completed in 2010. Many opposition senators and congressmen opposed that the project could cost US$500 million and this has been led to corruption in the Arroyo cabinet and even her, and also a series of cancellations. After it was constructed from 2009- 2010, again, it eventually cancelled in March 2011, no plans and substitute foreign support (Japan for example) to continue the project.
End of PresidencyIn November 2009, Arroyo formally declared her intention to run for a seat in the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga, making her the second Philippine President - after Jose P. Laurel - to pursue a lower office after the expiration of their presidency.
ArrestArroyo was arrested on 18 November 2011 after a Pasay court issued a warrant of arrest against her.
Protesters clash with policemen as they barricade the vehicle transporting ex-Philippine President Gloria Arroyo after she was released from hospital arrest at a government hospital in Manila on July 25, 2012. Arroyo walked free from eight months in detention on July 25 after a court issued a surprise ruling granting her bail, saying a vote rigging case against her was weak.
Former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo looks at her supporters as she arrives at her village in suburban Quezon City, north of Manila, Philippines on Wednesday July 25, 2012. Arroyo on Wednesday walked out of a government hospital where she has been detained for nearly eight months on charges of election sabotage after a court found that evidence against her was weak and granted bail.