President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. now refers to former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as his "secret weapon."
Marcos called her that before the Filipino community in Thailand during his meeting with them on Nov. 19, concluding his four-day stay there.
Marcos said Arroyo was the secret weapon that set the tone of his meetings with fellow leaders on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit sidelines.
He said that the former president made making discussion easier for the Philippines' part.
"Mayroon tayong— mayroon lang naidagdag na secret weapon na sumama sa atin, ang dating Pangulo —ang dating Pangulo si GMA (We have an additional secret weapon who came with us—former president GMA)," Marcos said as he was intoducing the members of his delegation for the regional summit.
"Sinasabi kong secret weapon dahil ako — ako yung baguhan dito, e. Ako yung bagong naging lider. Kaya’t ‘pag papasok kami sa meeting, noong nakita si GMA, 'ah ito yung my old frie—my good friend! My good friend!” Oh, madali na kaagad yung usapan (I'm calling her secret weapon because I am the newbie here. I am the new leader so whenever she walks in the meeting, when other leaders see her, they recognize her as their good friend. That makes the discussion easier)," he explained.
It is no longer a secret that the former chief executive has been supporting Marcos by giving him advice.
Prior to Marcos' meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, which Arroyo was part of, House Speaker Martin Romualdez disclosed that Arroyo gave Marcos advice as far as his meeting with the Chinese leader was concerned.
Romualdez called her a "big asset" to Marcos' delegation to Thailand.
"PGMA is definitely a big asset. Her reputation, her track record needs no introduction to anyone. Her advice, her counsel to President Marcos right now is valuable," Romualdez said.
After the meeting with Xi, Marcos mentioned that the Chinese leader was elated to see Arroyo in their bilateral meeting.