Joker Arroyo passes away at 88!

Former senator Joker Arroyo–a key figure in the anti-Marcos movement–has died while undergoing open heart surgery in the United States. He was 88 years old.


Arroyo, a human rights lawyer, served as member of the Philippine Senate for two consecutive terms in 2001 and 2007 before he quit politics in 2013.

He also served as congressman of Makati City (Metro Manila) for nine years and as executive secretary of then-President Corazon Aquino.

Arroyo was born on January 5, 1927 in Naga, Camarines Sur, where he finished his primary and secondary education before getting a scholarship at the University of the Philippines.

A graduate of the UP College of Law and the Ateneo de Manila, he earned public recognition when he challenged before the Supreme Court (SC) the constitutionality of Proclamation 1081 imposing martial law.

Based on his Senate profile, Arroyo handled more human rights cases than any other lawyer from 1972 to 1986.

He defended various political detainees including former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., Eugenio Lopez Jr., Sen. Sergio Osmeña 3rd, Communist Party of the Philippines founder and chairman Jose Ma. Sison, former Senate President Jovito Salonga, former senators Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and Eva Estrada Kalaw, Renato Tañada, Eduardo Olaguer and many others.

He was also the lead prosecutor during the impeachment trial of President Joseph Estrada in December 2000.

Arroyo has been married twice.

His first wife is Gregg Shoes entrepreneur Odelia Gregorio.

Their eldest daughter is Ma. Antonia Odelia “Maoi” Gregorio Arroyo, CEO of Hybridigm Consulting, the first biotechnology commercialization firm in the Philippines.

His second daughter, Ma. Zef Francisca “Baba” Arroyo, is an entrepreneur, artist and pastry chef.

Arroyo’s second wife is lawyer Felicitas Aquino, a member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission.

Their daughter is Joker’s namesake and a champion equestrian, whose career highlights include a team gold medal for the Philippines at the 2005 Southeast Asian Games.



Noynoy Aquino is an “Evil Genius” according to Joker Arroyo!


MANILA, Philippines – Former senator Joker Arroyo yesterday described President Aquino as an “evil genius” for using the Administrative Code of 1987 as his legal basis for authorizing the utilization of around P147 billion in government savings under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Arroyo is wondering why Aquino used the administrative code signed by his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, in justifying the DAP, which was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court last week.

“Cory signed it in 1987 and yet up to the end of her term in 1992, she never used it. The question now lies, why P-Noy used it 25 years after it was signed?” he said.

Arroyo also likened the President to the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos regarding the manner of disbursing public funds.

“It seems that P-Noy and Marcos thought alike. Cory did not use it. I am astounded why that admin code was used,” he told dzBB.

Arroyo said Marcos used the 1918 Administrative Code as basis for his control over government funds during his time.

“The evil genius tag I mentioned then has now become for real,” he said.

“You cannot release money without any authorization.”

Arroyo noted how Marcos squandered the people’s money using the administrative code.

“Cory did not use it because she knew fully well that her predecessor was the one who initiated the decree,” he said.

He said the administrative code was not used during the terms of former Presidents Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Arroyo, who was among those who raised concerns on the legalities of the DAP last year, said he is against calls to impeach President Aquino.

“As for me, I don’t like impeachment, not for his sake (but) for the sake of the country,” he said.

“That is our problem in the presidential system, you cannot remove him unless he is impeached. In a parliamentary system, if there is a move of no confidence, the prime minister is kicked out,” he added.

Because of his authority over government funds, Arroyo said the President had taken full control over the entire government, including the members of the Senate and House of Representatives on the issue of budget insertions.

The former senator sought an audit of how the government spent the DAP funds estimated to be between P147 billion to P250 billion.

He lamented how the DAP eroded the public’s trust in the President’s straight path campaign.