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‘We’re standing on firm ground’–Palace

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By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 17:11:00 10/29/2008

MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration is “standing on firm ground” and not threatened by the impending revival of the Senate investigation into the P728-million fertilizer fund scam and a fresh call by Roman Catholic bishops for change in government, one of her top aides said.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the allegations hurled at Arroyo are not new and have been brought before the courts.

Asked if the government was concerned with developments on the political front, Ermita said: “No. We know that we are standing on firm ground.”

He also expressed confidence that Arroyo enjoys the loyalty of her Cabinet and chances of anyone in her official family turning against her were “definitely none.”

“Hindi napapag-usapan, not even sa panaginip [That’s not being talked about, not even in dreams] The long and short of it is everybody is happy, happy to serve,” Ermita said.

On Tuesday evening, former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante, who is accused of funneling P728 million in fertilizer funds to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s campaign kitty in 2004, returned to the country after being deported from the United States and said he was ready to face investigations on the matter.

Hours before Bolante’s homecoming, a group of bishops, led by Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), called on the public to help “rebuild” the country as it scored the corruption controversies
besetting the administration.

Ermita said the two events happening on the same day could be mere coincidence.

Playing down the statement of the bishops, Ermita said it did not necessarily reflect the sentiment of the entire CBCP.

“The statement of one, two, or three bishops does not necessarily mean the sentiment of the entire leadership,” he said.

View article as posted on INQUIRER.net

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Written by joelguinto

WedUTC2008-10-29T10:45:35+00:00UTC10bUTCWed, 29 Oct 2008 10:45:35 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am10

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