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Gloria Arroyo to formalize re-election bid next week –spokesman

Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will file her certificate of candidacy (COC) next week for reelection as representative of the second district of Pampanga, a ranking official of her political party, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD), said Thursday.

Lakas-CMD spokesperson Atty. Raul Lambino said he is personally overseeing Arroyo’s nomination by the party. The former President will be running for her third and final term as district representative.

“Ang pagkakaalam ko ay magfa-file siya (Arroyo) para tumakbong kinatawan ng ikalawang distrito ng Pampanga under Lakas-CMD. Pine-prepare ko ang kanyang CONA (certifcate of nomination and acceptance) as official candidate of LAKAS,” he told reporters in a press conference.

Lambino said Arroyo’s COC will likely be filed by her congressional staff with the Commission on Elections next week.

The Pampanga lawmaker has been under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center since 2012  pending the resolution of her plunder case at the Sandiganbayan over her alleged misuse of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office's (PCSO) intelligence funds.

Arroyo won by a landslide in the 2013 local polls against three other candidates, one of whom was fielded by the ruling Liberal Party.

Despite being under hospital arrest, Lambino said Arroyo has worked hard to become a productive lawmaker.

“Marami siyang pina-file na bills. Most of the bills are significant kaya maraming napapa-approve sa committee level, na-approve sa 3rd reading,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lambino said neither Lakas-CMD nor Arroyo has decided on who to support in the 2016 presidential race even if administration standard bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Grace Poe have declared their respective candidacies.
“Walang party stand kung sino ang susuportahang presidente,” he said.

Former Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, a Lakas-CMD member and a staunch ally of Arroyo, earlier said the Pampanga lawmaker had given “marching orders” for the party “to meet and provide to support to VP Binay whenever he visits areas where the party holds sway.”

Lakas-CMD counts more than 1,000 politicians all over the country as members. —KBK, GMA News