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Palace: Arroyo stepping down in 2010

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Critics ‘fear-mongering,’ says spokesperson

By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 13:52:00 09/22/2008

MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will step down in 2010 and those who say otherwise are “fear-mongering,” Palace officials said Monday.

“The President intends to vacate her office when her term ends in 2010, and does not know where such fear-mongering is coming from,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said in a statement following the launching of a signature campaign by former government executives and civil society leaders against alleged efforts to extend Arroyo’s term.

“There is no attempt to keep the President in power beyond 2010. But since the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, we won’t begrudge anybody doing just that for as long as these are not just publicity stunts designed to demonize the President,” Presidential Management Staff chief Cerge Remonde said in a separate statement.

Fajardo also enjoined Arroyo’s critics to help her make the best out of her remaining two years in office.

The Former Senior Government Officials (FSGO) and the Black and White Movement launched the signature campaign to block efforts to extend Arroyo’s tour of duty, allegedly in the guise of amending the Constitution, which is being spearheaded by her allies in the House of Representatives.

The FSGO and Black and White Movement are staunch critics of the administration. They called on her to step down in January amid allegations she benefited from the alleged overprice of the government’s botched $329-million contract with China’s ZTE Corp. for the national broadband network (NBN) project.

Arroyo’s six-year term ends in 2010. Her win in the 2004 elections is under doubt over allegations of vote-rigging. She would have served as president for over nine years by then.

She served out the remainder of former president Joseph Estrada’s term after the latter was ousted by a military-backed popular revolt in January 2001.

View article as posted on INQUIRER.net

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Written by joelguinto

MonUTC2008-09-22T07:23:57+00:00UTC09bUTCMon, 22 Sep 2008 07:23:57 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am09

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