For the country’s 14th President, the first year in office of the 16th President has been nothing but stellar.

Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in a statement released on the first year of Duterte’s presidency said, “President Rodrigo Duterte has shown awesome leadership and resolve in the many programs that he promised to do during his presidency. “

Arroyo cited Duterte’s strengths on his first year. “In his first year, he managed to institute various bold reforms against illegal drugs and corruption. His Build, Build, Build initiative is commendable and is a step in the right direction towards achieving inclusive growth.”

For Arroyo, Duterte has become a ralying point for the Filipino people.

“But more than his accomplishments in his work as president, President Duterte has achieved to inspire and unite the Filipino people towards his goal of effecting real change for the country.”

Arroyo wished Duterte well  I wish him success and the best of health for the rest of his term as he fulfills his mandate for the nation and for the people.”

Throughout Duterte’s first year in office, Arroyo has been one of his lead cheerleaders and key allies. Arroyo missed Duterte’s inaugural last year since she was still detained. However, 3 weeks after Duterte took office, the Supreme Court dismissed the plunder case filed by the Aquino administration for alleged misuse of the PCSO intelligence funds. In the ensuing months, Arroyo became a deputy speaker of the House and became a voice for Duterte, filing bills in support of Duterte’s agenda.

However Arroyo also enjoys an enviable place as one of the few to have survived disagreeing with Duterte. while she has been replaced as a deputy speaker for voting against the bill reimposing the death penalty, Arroyo remained friends with Duterte and he continues to count her as an ally, occasionally praising her work as president. People associated with Arroyo have also been appointed to key positions, like National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Energy Secretar Alfonso Cusi, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jess Dureza (also Duterte’s classmate and childhood friend) Solicitor General Jose Calida and  PAGCOR Chair Andrea Domingo.

Duterte recently confirmed that Arroyo visited him to give him words of support.

the ties between the 2 leaders go way back to the time when then President Arroyo named then Davao City Mayor Rodridgo Duterte as her anti-crime adviser, a fact Duterte always mentions.

Earlier today, Arroyo particularly praised President Rodrigo Duterte’s regular visits to the soldiers in the field and the pay and other increases in financial benefits given to members of the AFP and PNP since July 2016. Arroyo also cited that among the latest benefits increased was the soldiers’ combat pay which has been raised to P 3,000.00 monthly under President Duterte’s E.O. 3. “The least a leader can do to increase the morale of the defenders of our democracy and peace is to make sure that their families do not go hungry,” the former President said.