A visibly touched President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo received a long-standing ovation from her “kasimanwas” when Governor Niel Tupas informed her of the Ilonggos’ support during the program commemorating the Philippine-Spain Friendship Day at the Iloilo Capitol Grounds, June 30, 2005.
Wearing a blue pant suit, the President who earlier arrived at around 10:20 am at the Mandurriao Airport, appeared relaxed and was mobbed by Ilonggos who were at the Capitol grounds, who all wanted to shake her hands and take her picture.
Even the weather cooperated with the Presidential visit. Earlier, the skies were dark and downcast. However the sun came out before the President arrived and continued throughout her visit. Just as the President left, the heavens poured.
Although smiling, President Arroyo appeared teary-eyed when Governor Niel Tupas reiterated the unqualified support of the Ilonggos for her. Governor Tupas told the President “We are proud to inform you that Iloilo has never wavered in its support to your administration.”
It will be recalled that during the 2001 elections the President had one of the biggest leads over her nearest rivals from the Province and City of Iloilo.
Tupas said that the Ilonggos are reiterating their trust and confidence in the President’s leadership and assured her that Iloilo stands solidly behind her.
In the same program, Governor Niel Tupas presented to the President the resolutions of support of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, the League of Municipalities, Iloilo Chapter and other local government groups.
After the Capitol activity, the Officers of AMOSUP and their families, led by Captain Gregorio Oca also warmly received the President when she inaugurated the Seamen’s Hospital. The response to the President’s announcement that soon a scholarship for the families of the seafarers would start was met with much enthusiasm and clapping.
From all indications of the visit, the President did not lose her rapport with the Ilonggos who have always considered her as one of their own, being married to an Ilonggo.
The visit once again affirmed the close ties between the President and the Ilonggos. (PIA)