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Arroyo thanks local execs

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 17:06:00 11/19/2008

MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo thanked local government officials for not being distracted by the political “noise,” which she said was being generated “prematurely” by the 2010 elections.

Faced with a fresh impeachment attempt, legislative inquiries in corruption allegations, and criticism over alleged plans to extend her term, Arroyo again found solace in local officials, and attended the general assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) at the Manila Hotel on Wednesday.

“So I thank you for all of this, and I thank what [LMP president] Monching Guico said in his speech, that you, the mayors, are not affected by the noise, prematurely generated by the 2010 elections,” Arroyo said in her speech.

“Thank you for being focused on your job. Thank you for realizing that effective governing is not a popularity contest. Thank you for understanding that the people deserve for their leaders to deliver results. And finally, thank you because you stand up and deliver,” she said.

In a speech earlier in the program, LMP President Ramon Guico said: “We have always stated that we cannot in conscience and practice follow the bickering and political mud-slinging that seems to be the preoccupation of many of our elected national leaders.”

“We, from the small towns and villages of our countries, cannot be distracted by the verbal fireworks and rhetoric by some of our leaders over the latest fertilizer scam, euro generals, destabilization or impeachment complaints,” Guico said.

Guico was referring to investigations on the alleged diversion of P728 million in fertilizer funds to Arroyo’s 2004 campaign chest and the alleged anomalous disbursement of €105,000 or P6.9 million for a police delegation to an Interpol conference in Russia in October.

He said municipal official would rather focus on their work, rather than “ranting and whining” about the problems besetting the country.

Earlier this week, research firm Pulse Asia Inc. said that the 2010 presidential elections is shaping up to be a five-way race among, led by Vice President Noli de Castro, followed by recently ousted Senate President Manuel Villar, former president Joseph Estrada, and Senators Loren Legarda and Francis Escudero.

While he is shaping up to be the administration’s best bet in 2010, Vice President Noli de Castro is “uneasy” when talk of the upcoming elections is raised among Cabinet members, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said.

But there have been no official discussions on the administration’s candidate for 2010, Ermita said.

“Among us [in the Cabinet], we joke about it. We see the Vice President, he feels uneasy…He’s focused on work,” Ermita said.

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Written by joelguinto

WedUTC2008-11-19T09:18:11+00:00UTC11bUTCWed, 19 Nov 2008 09:18:11 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am11

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