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The Philippines And Its First Gentleman

March 27, 2010

Let me begin this post with Wikipedia’s biographical entry:

Jose Miguel “Mike” Tuason Arroyo (born June 27, 1946) is the First Gentleman of the Philippines. He is the husband of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the current President of the Philippines.

On 2003, he was accused by Senator Panfilo Lacson of money laundering to a secret bank account under the fictitious name of Jose Pidal, which was later on claimed by his brother Ignacio Arroyo, Jr.

He traces his roots from Ignacio Arroyo and Doña Maria Pidal, who had 3 children namely: candidate for sainthood, Maria Beatriz Del Rosario Arroyo, Jose Maria Arroyo and Mariano Arroyo. Jose became a senator in 1919 while Mariano was governor of Iloilo in 1928. Senator Jose Ma.

Arroyo and spouse Jesusa Araneta-Lacson from Negros Occidental had 7 children, one of whom was Ignacio Lacson Arroyo who married Lourdes Zaragoza Tuason. The two are the parents of Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, as well as Ignacio Arroyo, Jr..

His family hails from the province of Iloilo, with ancestry from Fujian province, his brother Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo, Jr. serves as the Representative of the Fifth district of Negros Occidental for the Philippine Congress His major project as spouse of the President was the funding of the training of Philippine athletes for the 2005 Southeast Asian Games held in the Philippines. An attorney by profession, he became the main target of attacks both against his wife’s administration and his own involvement in a multiplicity of alleged scandals by the political opposition that once led to his voluntary exile.

His only daughter Evangelina Lourdes ‘Luli’ Arroyo, 37, married J. Aloysius ‘Luigi’ Bernas at 5 p.m. on November 5, 2008, in Tagaytay Highlands. Bernas is a former investment banker and ex-director of Ayala Foundation. The wedding was a private affair, and only ten people were invited.

On April 9, 2007, Mr. Arroyo underwent a successful ten hour open heart surgery after being diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm.

Twenty-two days after undergoing the critical open heart surgery, Mr. Arroyo was able to walk out of the hospital almost fully recovered.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer is now reporting:

First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo has shown “marked improvement” after drugs eased his pain and stabilized his blood pressure. But doctors on Friday said they were keeping him under close watch because of a “new tear” in a major blood vessel branching out of his heart.
Doctors at St. Luke’s Medical Center-Global City in Taguig described the 63-year-old Arroyo as “conscious,” and said in a medical bulletin: “We are now gradually putting him on progressive diet and he has started to do bedside rehab.”
The doctors said the close monitoring was necessary because there was still the danger of “possible complications.”
President Macapagal-Arroyo’s husband was rushed to the hospital the other day—the third time in three years he was hospitalized with a heart ailment—after complaining of back pains.

So it is that the First Gentleman’s health has been a roller coaster ride these past three years as his spouse winds down her scandal-ridden hold on power.

The First Couple has never been closer, some say through thick and thin
Indeed that rumor was the Arroyos had actually been estranged until Gloria decided to run for the Senate in 1992.

But with her political star on the rise, their marital bond has most obviously grown strong despite recurring rumors of Mr. Arroyo’s dalliance with a Chinese mestiza as made public by his arch-critic Sen. Panfilo Lacson  (himself now an international fugitive for his alleged role in a politically-motivated double murdercase).

Atty. Jose Miguel Arroyo has been most controversial as the Philippines’ first ever ‘First Gentleman’.

While his official involvements are described primarily as ceremonial and devoted to awarding scholarships and medical assistance for the less privileged, ‘FG’ (as he’s been nicknamed), is rumored repeatedly as being involved in questionable deals and in posting his close business friends and sycophants in agencies imbued with combine political and financial influence.

Not since the Marcos era has the Philippines’ First Couple been portrayed by their detractors as having exploited their partnership in aiding and abetting corruption in public offices.

Given how investigations into the accusations ranging from the Hello Garci election fraud case to the NBN-ZTE scam have been consistently stone-walled, most Filipinos are resigned to the hope of unearthing the truth and finding justice only after the May 10 elections install a new President.


That’s because of the widely held suspicion that Mrs. Arroyo will be able to install herself as Speaker of the House of Representatives and then ram through constitutional amendments that will change the form of government and enable GMA to become Prime Minister.

So it is that while politics are set asides in prayers for Atty. Mike Arroyo’s recovery, Filipinos are denouncing what they condemn as the ‘Gloria Forever Plot’.

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