LUBAO -- Kapampangan supporters and political leaders are expected to troop to this town on Wednesday, April 5, to celebrate the natal day of former President now Pampanga Second District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Mrs. Arroyo who has gone full circle in her political life turns 70 years old. A thanksgiving mass is expected to be offered at the San Agustin Church here with a simple reception for well wishers after the mass.

Despite her recent controversies, Mrs. Arroyo remains a stunning figure in local politics. The daughter of former President Diosdado Macapagal, she served as 14th President of the Philippines, the second woman to hold such post. She is a member of the House of Representatives representing the Second District of Pampanga since 2010.

Mrs. Arroyo finished her nine-year term in 2010, but was arrested the following year on an election fraud charge, for which she was allowed to post bail. She was later charged with plunder and has been detained at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center since October 2012. Despite her detention, she was re-elected to Congress in May last year.

Mrs. Arroyo was released from the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) after the Supreme Court, voting 11-4, decided to dismiss the plunder case against her in connection with the alleged misuse of millions of funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

Mrs. Arroyo's release came after the 15-member high court signed the majority decision plus the separate opinions of four justices who dissented.

President Rodrigo Duterte had promised during the campaign to set Mrs. Arroyo free once he gets elected president, saying there is no enough evidence to give the courts reason to continuously detain her. Duterte served as presidential consultant on public order under the Arroyo administration.

Mrs. Arroyo has been removed in a key House position after rejecting the proposed measure that will revive the capital punishment in the country. Despite her removal, Arroyo has expressed her support for the Duterte administration.


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