Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

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© REUTERS/Czar Dancel


Maria Gloria Macaraeg Macapagal Arroyo CYC (born April 5, 1947)[2] is a Filipino professor and politician serving as the current Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, making her the first woman to hold the position.[3] She previously served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 until 2010, as the 10th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, as the deputy speaker of the 17th Congress from 2016 to 2017, and a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd Districtof Pampanga since 2010. She was the country’s second female president (after Corazon Aquino), and the daughter of former President Diosdado Macapagal. Arroyo is also the first duly elected female Vice President of the Philippines.

Arroyo was a former professor of economics at Ateneo de Manila University where eventual President Benigno Aquino III was one of her students. She entered government in 1987, serving as assistant secretary and undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry upon the invitation of President Corazon Aquino. After serving as a senator from 1992 to 1998, she was elected to the vice presidency under President Joseph Estrada, despite having run on an opposing ticket.

After Estrada was accused of corruption, she resigned her cabinet position as Secretary of Social Welfare and Development and joined the growing opposition to the president, who faced impeachment. Estrada was soon forced out from office by the Second EDSA Revolution in 2001, and Arroyo was sworn into the presidency by Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. on January 20. She was elected to a full six-year presidential term in the controversial 2004 Philippine elections, and was sworn in on June 30, 2004. Following her presidency, she was elected to the House of Representatives, making her the second Philippine president— after José P. Laurel— to pursue a lower office after their presidency.