Former president and House Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will be joining President Ferdinand ”Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in his trip to Belgium next week.
Arroyo will be part of the country’s delegation during the President’s first participation at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and European Union (EU) Summit in Brussels from December 12-14, DFA Assistant Secretary for ASEAN Affairs Daniel Espiritu said Friday.
While there is still no final list yet of officials joining Marcos in his Europe trip, among those who will surely go with him will be Arroyo and officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
“Yung latest list, nakita namin pangalan ni former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (In the latest list, we saw Arroyo’s name),” Espiritu said in a press conference.
It will be the second time that the former leader will join the President on his foreign trip.
During the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Thailand, Arroyo also came with Marcos, who eventually called him as his “secret weapon.”
“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 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),” Marcos said.
In fact, Arroyo has been supportive of Marcos and has been 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, considering “her reputation” and “her track record.”