FORMER President-turned Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was elected Chairman of the prestigious Association for Philippines-China Understanding (APCU).
In her acceptance speech, Mrs. Arroyo said she is honored by her election to an organization which she helped organize in the early 1970s. With Arroyo as Co-Chairman of APCU in the 1970s, her organization played a key role in the establishment of diplomatic relations with China.
“First, thank you for the honor of being elected as chair of APCU. For the record, I did not ask for this position. But I did not hesitate to accept it either, if that will help revive an association that I helped establish way before I entered public life and one that I played an active role in until the demands of public service took over my life,” said Mrs. Arroyo.
APCU is recognized and accredited by China as the official people-to-people organization in the country.
Mrs. Arroyo said it was the late Alejandro Roces, who had served as Secretary of Education during the term of her father, former President Diosdado Macapagal, who recruited her to help organize the organization.
As one of the founding members, Mrs. Arroyo said it was through APCU that she came to know many unforgettable personalities including acclaimed painter Veronica Yuyitung, the great artist Jose Joya, respected writer Adrian Cristobal, Ambassador to Poland Patricia Ann Paez, retired Court of Appeals Justice Angelita Gacuta and Tony Barreiro, the father of media icon Bobby Barreiro, among others.
She pointed out that their biggest benefactor was the late Rufino Dee Unhong, the father of Donald Dee, President of the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines.
Arroyo said the revival of APCU is timely considering the need to promote harmony and peace between the Philippines and China.
“Going fast forward, our country’s political environment is truly the time to work for the ‘strong and healthy relations between the Philippines and China that promotes peace, harmony and prosperity among their peoples’ that APCU’s vision declares,” she said.