Wednesday, 16 June 2010

First Family moves back to QC home

GMA’s bags are packed, she’s ready to go
Charissa Luci
June 15, 2010, 6:40pm

The First Family has vacated Malacañang since Sunday and is now back to their La Vista home in Quezon City.

In an ambush interview shortly after the launching of his two coffee table books at Malacañang Palace’s Rizal Hall, First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo said they started packing up their things more than two months ago.

He explained that President Arroyo only returns to Malacañang to assume her official function as the country’s Chief Executive until she hands over the torch of leadership to President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III on June 30.

“We are happy to leave Malacañang,” the First Gentleman said. “We have been moving out. Almost everything is out already,” he said.

The The First Gentleman also took opportunity to defend his wife from her critics, citing the media has been “unfair,” particularly with President Arroyo. “Her achievements were not highlighted. Under her leadership, our country did very well,” the disappointed Arroyo said.

During the launching, he distributed copies of his two coffee table books in which he defended himself against the malicious claims against him as well as his “romance” with President Arroyo who was then a presidential daughter.

His first book titled “First” showcased his Foundation’s various projects, “on who I really am and the last part of the book where I set the record straight on all the malicious allegations hurled against me,” the First Gentleman said during his speech.

His second book, “181 Dreams,” is a compilation of stories from each of the scholars, whose dreams were fulfilled by the Foundation.

“The first dream is mine and the rest are the dreams of our 180 scholars,” Arroyo noted.

During the launching, a total of 49 Bagong Doktor Para sa Bayan Batch 5 scholars signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) requiring them to serve two years in remote communities as barrio doctors.

First Gentleman Foundation, Inc.’s Bagong Espesyalista Para sa Bayan was launched in 2007.

“I am convinced that it is better to invest in a doctor than giving straight to just one beneficiary. It is because of the ripple effect, more can benefit by investing in one doctor since the doctor serves the entire community,” the First Gentleman said.

“As you all know already, I wanted to be a doctor. But it wasn’t meant to be – I followed my father’s advice and became a lawyer instead.

However, I don’t regret being a man of the law. But being a doctor has always been in my heart,” he said.

Meanwhile, Arroyo said he is hopeful that the next President would exhaust all means to unite the country. “He should unite the country instead of dividing the country. I think he should not think as President of the opposition, but he should think as the President of the Filipino people,” he said.

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