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Dureza apologizes over prayer blunder

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Vows to pray ‘in silence’ next time

By Joel Guinto
First Posted 20:52:00 11/19/2008

MANILA, Philippines—Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said he had apologized to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for giving her an “undeserved flak” over a prayer he led at a Cabinet meeting, as he promised to “pray in silence” next time.

Dureza acknowledged that Arroyo was “terribly upset” over the incident, although she appeared composed immediately after the Cabinet meeting last Tuesday.

Arroyo could only sigh “Oh my God,” after Dureza, at the end of his prayer, pleaded: “Bless the President so she will have the forbearance, good health, tolerance to lead this nation up to 2010 and perhaps, who knows, even beyond.”

Dureza said what he actually said was that the President could lead the country beyond 2010 “in her personal and private capacity,” but the last portion of his prayer was “drowned out.”

“I apologized to her later that day when media reported it with a spin for term extension and at her expense. In hindsight, it was a mistake on my part to subject the President to such undeserved flak,” he said in a statement late Wednesday evening.

“I take full responsibility and own up solely to the blame. One lesson I learned is that next time, I’ll pray in silence,” he said.

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Written by joelguinto

WedUTC2008-11-19T13:58:29+00:00UTC11bUTCWed, 19 Nov 2008 13:58:29 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm11

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