Baby Arenas wanted the presidency? 'Absurd,' says daughter

MANILA, Philippines – Pangasinan Representative Rose Marie "Baby" Arenas did not plan to run for president after the term of President Fidel Ramos, according to her daughter Rachel, a former lawmaker.

"I should say that it's really a lie. She never wanted to be president. All she really wanted was for the Ramos presidency to leave a good legacy and to be able to serve, which she is now doing very well. She's a lot better than I am," Rachel told Rappler.

"If she's going to dream of the presidency, maybe it's for me and not for herself. I feel so sad and I feel so bad that she is going through something that is not of her doing," she added.

Rachel is contesting the recollection of retired general Jose Almonte in the newly launched book Endless Journey: A Memoir, as told to Rappler editor-at-large Marites Dañguilan Vitug, where he recalled his years in the military, the EDSA People Power revolution, and the Ramos presidency. (READ: Baby Arenas wanted to be president after Fidel Ramos)

Baby Arenas, a socialite, is known to have had a past relationship with Ramos. Under the Ramos presidency, she wielded influence. 

Her daughter Rachel attended the book launch on Wednesday, February 25, to personally deliver to Almonte a letter her mother wrote in response to his recollection about her in the book.

"She's angry as well. Parang medyo absurd naman 'yun. The presidency, really? It's not fair to her especially to her loved ones," she added.

In the book, Almonte recalled his role as the self-imposed "babysitter" of Arenas. The national security adviser of Ramos said he recognized the potential problems that the past relationship would create under the Ramos government.

Almonte said he was able to manage Baby Arenas with the help of her daughter Rachel. – Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler.com