Former President Arroyo is now Duterte adviser for Clark projects

By Eimor Santos, CNN Philippines

President Rodrigo Duterte appointed former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as his adviser for Clark Freeport Zone programs and projects.

Malacañang announced Thursday that Duterte gave Arroyo a new government post as Presidential Adviser on Clark Flagship Programs and Projects on Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque added that the former President, who also served three terms as congresswoman, will only have a compensation rate of ₱1 per year.

“Arroyo’s wisdom and her vast experience as a former head of state and head of government, coupled with her great concern in her native Pampanga, would be valuable as she would assist the Administration in the planning and execution of programs and projects to turn Clark as the next premier metropolis of Asia,” Roque said.

Shortly after the Palace announcement, Arroyo’s official Facebook page posted photos of her signing her oath of office. Arroyo also thanked the President for his trust.

“In this time of pandemic and the worst global recession in nearly a century, the rapid harnessing of the Clark-Subic service logistics corridor for jobs, investment and inclusive development is indispensable for national recovery,” Arroyo said.

“This is an immense undertaking that was one of my priority thrusts during my presidency, and I am grateful to President Rodrigo Duterte for his trust in empowering me to provide advice on this economy-boosting initiative once more,” she added.

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority, which manages the Clark Freeport Zone, welcomed Arroyo’s appointment.

The Clark Freeport Zone is in Pampanga, Arroyo’s home province. It hosts local and foreign businesses, as well as the Clark International Airport.

After her presidency, Arroyo served for three terms as representative of the second district of Pampanga. Some of these years were spent under hospital arrest due to plunder charges, which were dismissed in 2016.

In 2018, Arroyo became House Speaker after the controversial ouster of Pantaleon Alvarez, a fellow Duterte ally.

Her son, Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo, succeeded her in the congressional district.

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