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Philippine President Refuses to Step Down 2005-06-21
Philippine President Gloria Arroyo, in a public statement said she wouldn�t resign, despite the publicity over a gambling scandal. The claim is that members of her family may have taken illegal gambling payoffs. Even if they are found guilty, Arroyo will stay in office.
Constituents are calling Arroyo to step down, as they have in a televised Senate inquiry, this past month. They accused her of vote rigging, through found recordings. Even though all claims point to guilt, the family is still in denial on all allegations. There is no comment on anything coming from her party.
What Arroyo did say was that she wouldn�t resign under any circumstances, in a Hong Kong interview. She feels that she was elected by the people, and will stay as their representative. Arroyos trip to Hong Kong came as a stop over on her tour through Europe, and the United States. The goal of the trip is to reassure investors that Arroyo is in control of her government. The Philippines have faced economic crisis, in face of their unemployment rate at 8.3%, the second highest in the Asian Pacific areas.
The accusation went further on June 9th, in a Senate meeting, where are witness testified of her part in the scam. She said she delivered the $16,176 dollar equivalent of illegal gambling payoffs to the president�s son and brother in law, both of which are congressmen, last December.
The witch hunt is yet to be in full force, but Arroyo looks anything but fully innocent. The trip looks more like an escape in the face of scandal, then a promotion tour. She will face the pressure once other allegations come to a surface.
(By Sammy)