This, contrary to earlier reports that it would be mayors from the second district that would file her COC on her behalf.
As early as 7:30 a.m. throngs of supporters with streamers expressing support for her candidacy had crowded B. Mendoza St. fronting the Comelec office. The crowd swelled to over a thousand when the President arrived on board a Toyota mini-bus 10:30 a.m.
Ms. Arroyo was mobbed by the crowd soon as she got out of her bus and took sometime pressing the flesh before she could go up three flights of steps to the Comelec office where provincial election supervisor Temmie Lambino waited for her.
It was First Gentleman Mike Arroyo that handed Lambino the five copies of the COC which verification took Lambino less than ten minutes. The President took longer posing before television cameras and press photographers holding her COC.
Earlier, Ms. Arroyo attended a concelebrated Mass at the St. Augustine church in her hometown of Lubao and later delivered a message to her constituents at the church patio.
The President led a 20-vehicle motorcade from Lubao to the capital city. With her in the bus were her husband, son Juan “Miguel” Arroyo whose seat she now seeks, Reps. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales (3rd District) and Anna York Bondoc-Sagum (4th District), Mayors Dennis Pineda (Lubao), Eddie Guerrero (Floridablanca), Roger Santos (Porac), and Ric Rivera (Guagua) – all in the second district; Mayors Jerry Pelayo (Candaba) and Digos Canlas (San Simon) of the 4th district.
On Monday, Ms Arroyo claimed her decision to run was borne by her desire to pursue public service and heed what she called “clamor” by her cabalens.
“After much contemplation, I realized I’m not ready to step down completely from public service,” she announced over the government-run Radyo ng Bayan.
“Gaya ng alam ninyo, hinihilingan ako ng mga mamamayan ng aking tahanang distrito sa Pampanga na manatili sa buhay-publiko (As you all know, I have been asked by the citizens of my home district in Pampanga to stay on in public life), so after much soul-searching, I have decided to respond affirmatively to their call,” the President said.
The President was entered in the ledger of candidates for provincial/district positions at No. 24.
As of noon yesterday only one other candidate for the 2nd district House seat had filed a COC. Listed at No. 4 was a Feliciano Galcim Serrano, an “Independent.”
Already the second-longest serving Philippine president next to the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, she apparently did not bother with criticisms that her congressional run was ultimately intended to reinstall her as prime minister in case of a shift to a parliamentary government.