Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo rallies support for President Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao, asking the public to just put their trust in his decisions.

Arroyo is even willing to extend the declaration past the 60 day period prescribed by the Constitution.

Speaking at a Program of the Inner Wheel Clubs of the Philippines in Makati City, Arroyo, invoking her experience as chief executive, said,  “i’ve been president. i was president …and being president …you have information that others do not have they help you make a decision but you cannot share the information with others”

Arroyo added, “therefore its important we just trust the president because he knows what we dont know he knows what hes  doing so let us all support the martial law of President duterte in Mindanao.”

Arroyo categorically declared her support for President Duterte’s declaration. “the war in marawi  carries with it the issue of the declaration of martial law in mindanao i’d like to use the opportunity to stand foursquare behind president duterte’s declaration of martial law in mindanao.”

asked during an ambush interview if she is open to an extension, Arroyo said, “if he asks for it yes.” under the 1987 Constitution, Congress can approve an extenstion past 60 days if it is so requested by the President.

Arroyo herself declared martial law in 2009, when she imposed it over Maguindanao after the infamous massacre in that province November that year.

This comes as criticism against the declaration persists over alleged failure to provide a factual basis. the matter is now the subject of a Supreme Court review which is expected to issue a finding early next week.

Arroyo also reiterated her assessment of Duterte’s first year in office. “yesterday he celebrated his first year as president he has shown awesome leadership and resolve in the many programs  that he set out to do during his rpesidency in the first year he completed  yesterday he instituted bold reforms against illegal drugs and corruption”

Arroyo, a trained economist, made specific mention of Duterte’s economic agenda, even of the president is more known for his peace and order and anti-corruption initiatives. ” speaking as an economist  id like to add that his build build build initiative is commendable and is a step in the right direction towards sustaining our robust economic growth our economic growth today  is one of the best in the world so build build build will sustain that”

in the ambush interview, Arroyo explained, “because infrasturcture is very important in the short term for pump priming the economy and keeping it active and in the longer term because it gives a good investment climate that creatse job.”

Arroyo also spoke about Duterte’s becoming a rallying figure for the people. “one thing that the president has done is to inspire and unite the filipino people toward his goal of effecting real change in the country, pagbabago.”

Finally Arroyo urged the people to wish the President good health. This amid continuing speculation on the true state of the President’s health as he has noticeably scaled back his public appearances. ” lets all wish him the best as begins as his 2nd year the best of health  for the rest of his term”

Arroyo has been a vocal ally of Duterte since she was released from detention at the start of Duterte’s term. The Supreme Court dismissed the plunder case filed against her for alleged misuse of state lottery funds during her presidency.  In that year, she has risen to an enviable place in Philippine politics where she can disagree with the president unscathed.

while she has been largely supportive of the Duterte presidency, she has disagreed with the proposal to reimpose the death penalty. while she lost her deputy speakership for voting against the bill at the Lower House, she remains friends with Duterte, and the chief executive speaks of her fondly.

Duterte was Arroyo’s anti-crime adviser when she was president and he was Davao City Mayor.

Arroyo has also been viewed by many as a close adviser of the President, and earlier this week. Duterte said he met with Arroyo privately and she gave him words of encouragement.