Arroyo camp defends legislative record despite topping absentee list-A A +A
Friday, January 18, 2013
THE camp of Pampanga Representatives Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo defended her legislative record in the House of Representatives despite topping the list of absentee congressmen in 2012.
"Even with confinement restrictions, she receives visits from town mayors, councillors and barangay chairmen of her districts for their concerns. Also, the former President directed her congressional staff to be in the field almost daily to constantly monitor needs of constituents and make sure her projects are implemented," Arroyo's chief of staff, Elena Bautista-Horn, said in a press statement.
Horn said the former President's absence from plenary sessions is "understandable" given her condition.
"Former President Arroyo has proven that her legal cases and present health condition are not a hindrance to her work as a congresswoman as she continues to perform her legislative obligations and serve the people especially her constituents in Pampanga," Horn said.
Arroyo, who is presently detained at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC), was the top absentee for the year 2012. Out of the 61 session days, she was only present for 33 days.
Arroyo was arrested in November 2011 for electoral sabotage charges but was later released on bail in July 2012 by a Pasay City court.
She was then re-arrested in October 2012 on charges of plunder, another non-bailable case, for the alleged misuse of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office intelligence funds.
According to Horn, Arroyo has authored and co-authored more than 200 bills since she assumed office in 2010.
Some of Arroyo's bills, which had already passed on third and final reading, include proposed amendments to the Philippine Fisheries Act of 1998, the VMMC bill, the Overseas Absentee Voting bill, the Driving Under Influence of Alcohol bill, and the Corporate Social Responsibility bill.
Aside from her legislative work, Horn said Arroyo has implemented several major projects in Pampanga, the biggest of which is the flood control program in the province.
Arroyo is seeking reelection in the second district of Pampanga in the May midterm elections despite her hospital detention in the VMMC. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)