CGMA makes up for lost time, befriends constituents via Facebook

Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Facebook account.

LUBAO, Pampanga- In an apparent move to make up for the lost time with her constituents here arising from her detention, former President and now Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is now reaching out to them via the social networking Facebook amid her reported plans to seek reelection in 2013.

The Facebook account surfaced about a month ago and invited Kapampangans, including members of the local media, as friends. As of yesterday, the account posted 831 friends and 104 public subscribers.

Punto called up at 11:30 a.m. yesterday the telephone number cited in the account as belonging to Arroyo’s office here, but the phone only rang without being answered.

The account, however, seemed authentic despite the lack of anyone to confirm it immediately as of yesterday.

When news broke out last Thursday that Arroyo would visit Pampanga the following Friday, the Facebook account rightly cited Barangay Babo Sacan in Porac town in response to Punto’s query on the exact location of her destination.

During last Friday’s visit to Porac, Arroyo’s spokesperson Elena Bautista Horn confirmed the former president’s plan to seek reelection in Pampanga’s second district.

Amid rains throughout the province wrought by tropical depression Gener, the Facebook account quoted Horn as saying:

“Former President and Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is on a 24-hour alert monitoring developments in the 2nd district of Pampanga including nearby towns regarding possible effects brought about by tropical depression Gener.”

“She is recommending to the town mayors to mobilize resources and put in place rescue and relief operations to help her cabalens overcome the dangers that may arise.

She is asking to receive hourly reports directly from the mayors. Evacuation centers have already been identified for possible evacuation,” the statement also said.

The bulletin elicited positive reactions from Arroyo’s supporters. One Tessie Calixto Arriola said: “That’s my leader. Always alert and helpful.”

The Facebook account, however, was apparently prepared for her by her staff about a month ago when the account started to invite Kapampangan friends, as the police had barred Arroyo from cellphones and the internet during her detention at the Veterans Memorial Hospital until she was allowed to post bail Wednesday last week.

The account initially featured a photo of Arroyo during her project inspections in Pampanga before her detention.

Yesterday, the main page featured her still with a neck brace, waving to the crowd from a window in her coaster after she posted bail on electoral fraud charges Wednesday last week.

Many other photos showed her posing with her “cabalens” during her term as president and congresswoman.

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