Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (born April 5, 1947), also known as GMA, is the current and 14th president of the Republic of the Philippines. She is the second female president of the country after Corazon Aquino and is the daughter of a former president, Diosdado Macapagal. She has a Ph.D. in economics from Georgetown University in Washington, where she was a classmate of Bill Clinton. She is a member of the LAKAS party.
In 1986, she was appointed by President Corazon C. Aquino as Assistant Secretary of Trade and Industry as she is credited for the rapid growth of the garment industry in the eighties by holding the position of Executive Director of the Garments and Textile Export Board.
She was elected as Senator during her first try in politics in 1992, and re-elected in 1995 with the highest number of votes in Philippine history. She sponsored or authored fifty five bills that were signed into law.
In 1998, she was elected Vice President, garnering the most number of votes of any national elective position although her party mate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Jose de Venecia, lost the election for president. She served under the administration of President Joseph Estrada and became the secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
She became president through popular revolt (EDSA II) on January 20, 2001, after the impeachment trial of President Estrada, who was charged with graft and plunder, was suspended. The Supreme Court unanimously declared her assumption into office as legal and constitutional after declaring the position of the President vacant when Estrada left Malacaņang Palace. The constitutionality of this succession is still questioned by a number of Estrada's supporters.
On July 26, 2003 she faced an apparent coup attempt when renegade troops seized a hotel and shopping mall in Makati City in Metro Manila. Mrs. Arroyo delivered a televised speech to renegades and promised hostile action if they did not cease their attemped coup. A respected General was deployed to talk down the mostly young, somewhat naive soldiers; they surrendered soon after. The coup attempt was rumored to have been connected to supporters of previously ousted president Joseph Estrada. The Feliciano commission, a presidential comittee assigned to investigate the coup, has recently come out with its findings. See 2003 Makati Mutiny.