MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – The first full meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s administration this week brought together four past Philippine presidents (who are all council members) Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Fidel Ramos and NoyNoy Aquino. And boy, wasn’t there some major drama.
It was Aquino’s first personal encounter with Arroyo after the Pampanga lawmaker walked free from hospital arrest after the Supreme Court cleared her of plunder charges.
Before the meeting started, the 4 former presidents had a photo with President Rodrigo Duterte.
A video of the Malacañang encounter released by PTV4 showed Aquino striding into the room where Arroyo, Duterte, and Ramos were already waiting, standing in a line facing the entrance.
Aquino, still wearing his signature yellow ribbon, first shook hands with Duterte and Ramos and then took his place beside Ramos without extending the same courtesy to Arroyo, who stood beside the incumbent president.
Estrada was next to walk into the room. The Manila Mayor shook hands with all 4 of them before walking to Arroyo’s side to begin the photo session.
When asked by The Adobo Chronicles about the snub, Aquino blamed Arroyo, saying that she had her hands clasped together which he saw as a sign that the lady president was the one who didn’t want to shake his hand.
It seems that the blame game which has been the mark of Aquino’s six years in office continues to this day. Moving on is sometimes hard to do.