Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said on Thursday that she will resume writing her memoirs when she finishes her third term in the House of Representatives and that she has no plans to run in next year’s elections.
The 71-year-old Arroyo is on her third and last term as representative of Pampanga province.
“I have no plans to run for anything. I plan to work on my memoirs, to resume writing my memoirs. Other than that, I haven’t given much thought about what to do to occupy my time,” she said in a TV interview.
Political observers said that Arroyo is a shoo-in if she runs for the Senate.
But Arroyo said her focus now is to help Duterte build a lasting legacy.
“I am not interested in a legacy as Speaker,” she said. “I am interested in helping President Duterte with his legacy during my short time as Speaker.”
Arroyo assumed the speakership last month, following the ouster of Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez hours before Duterte’s third State of the Nation Address.
Majority of House members ousted Alvarez a few months after he had a run-in with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in February over the latter’s establishment of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago political party. Alvarez said Hugpong is an opposition party, drawing the ire of the Davao City mayor.
Arroyo said she had no hand in planning her predecessor’s ouster.
“The reason I resisted having an in-depth interview up to today is that I wanted the story of the Speakership fight to be relayed and to be recounted by those who played an active role in it, so by this time it should be very clear that I did not aspire and I did not campaign to be Speaker,” Arroyo said.
Arroyo’s surpise election as Speaker was reportedly orchestrated by congressmen unhappy with Alvarez and supported by Duterte-Carpio and other political parties.
The former president agreed that Duterte-Carpio was a “rising star” in the political landscape.