“She is a… political genius whose competence, workaholic attitude, track record, integrity, and strong decision-making skills helped her earn the respect... of world leaders,” Romualdez said, following a farewell dinner for Mrs. Arroyo at the Manila Hotel organized by the 17th Congress Tuesday night.
President Rodrigo Duterte, who was at the event, called Arroyo a “true living icon in Philippine politics.”
Lawmakers led by Tingog Sinirangan Party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez, San Jose del Monte City Rep. Rida Robes, Davao City Rep. Mylene Garcia-Albano and other officials also attended the event.
“Speaker Arroyo is a no-nonsense action lady and very much determined to show concrete and genuine reforms for the benefit of the Filipinos,” said Yedda Marie Romualdez, the former chairperson of the House committee on accounts.
Martin Romualdez, incoming House majority leader of the 18th Congress, cited Arroyo’s concern for the poor.
“Her pro-poor projects like the affordable housing units and conditional cash transfer program for the poorest of the poor benefitted many Filipinos. It was an honor and privilege to work with the former president and Speaker Arroyo. I wish her the best of luck,” Romualdez said.
In her speech, Arroyo said she will “graduate from 27 years of active political life with a grateful heart to the Almighty.”
Arroyo thanked Duterte for giving her the opportunity to serve as his Speaker.
“President Duterte, thank you very much for allowing me the opportunity to serve as Speaker of the House,” said Arroyo who also recalled that then Davao City Mayor Duterte helped her senatorial and vice presidential candidacies.
“I want to express to you my heartfelt thanks for the hard work and the support you have given me,” said Arroyo who also thanked her colleagues for all the support extended to her.
But Arroyo said she regretted that President Duterte found her very hard to deal with and wished she had better “emotional quotient [EQ].”
“My only regret in our relationship is that you have found me very difficult to deal with. It was never my intention to be difficult with you. How could it have been with all the gratitude for all that you have done for me, I only wish that I had better EQ so that you would not have found me so difficult to deal with,” Arroyo said.
READ: More solons vouch for ‘next Speaker’READ: Party-lists choose ‘next Speaker’READ: Romualdez is next Speaker–Sara
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