PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd may not like his predecessor and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo as Chief Executive but he has very high regard of her as an Economics professor back at the Ateneo.
“Napaka [Highly] knowledgeable,” was how Aquino described Arroyo during an interview with ace comedian Vice Ganda that was aired Sunday night.
He recalled that the entire class was “aghast” when on the first day of classes, Arroyo gave them a three-page reading list.
“We were given a reading list, three pages, back to back.. during the course of the semester. Single spaced,” the President said.
He, however, clarified, that Arroyo was not a “terror” teacher and that in fact, she always wore a smile.
“During her time, I recall during the final exams when we needed one book to answer just one question. My classmate asked: ‘Ma’am should we choose from among this on the reading list?’. She replied: ‘No, no. We’re gonna go through all of that’,” Aquino further remembered.
The President said nobody flunked the subject where he got a grade of B plus.
He added that there was never a time that he disrespected Arroyo because she somehow became close to his parents.
“When they chanced upon one another in a social activity, they discussed whether I perform well or not,” the President said.
Aquino has been very critical of the Arroyo administration, practically blaming the former president for the country’s woes.
Arroyo holds a doctorate degree in economics from the UP School of Economics.
She is currently detained at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center on election sabotage charges.
On January 12, 2012, she unleashed a barrage of criticisms against Aquino in a paper entitled “It’s the economy, student.”
She accused Aquino of vilifying her and her family before the bar of public opinion and of trying to erase her legacy to cover up for his own shortcomings.
“Indeed, it’s so easy to claim achievements that have already been accomplished by others, and take credit for what is there when the one who did the work has gone. Just make sure she is forgotten, or, if remembered, vilified,” she said.
“Neither the President nor anyone else can truly expect to govern the next five years with nothing but a sorry mix of vilification, periodically recycled promises of action followed by lethargy, backed up by few, if any, results, and presumptuously encouraging gossip about one’s love life in which no one can possibly be interested,” Arroyo further said.