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PIA Press Release
2005/08/22

PGMA shakes hands with critics, thrills Samarnons

Catbalogan, Samar (22 August) -- Teachers and government employees here, were thrilled by lasts night's TV segments showing PGMA shaking hands with political foes during rites commemorating the 22nd anniversary of Ninoy Aquino's assassination.

While they speculated on what former President Cory Aquino, Senate President Franklin Drilon and Former DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman must have felt when PGMA shook hands and exchanged "beso-beso" with them, TV spectators from Samar's capital town of Catbalogan said this could have been supreme effort on the part of PGMA to project her seriousness in effecting reconciliation.

Grade school teacher, Luzviminda G. Maga said the President's gesture was a sign of true statesmanship.

By reaching out in humility to all others in that gathering, PGMA stood taller than the rest despite her size, Mega further said.On the other hand, DLR employee Carmen Arsenio lauded PGMA's strength of will in attending the commemorative mass for Ninoy Aquino when she could just as well send a representative.

Arsenio likened PGMA to a Roman maiden braving a lion's den. Moreover, she said PGMA typifies the true leader who will rise to lead and unify her people despite the brickbats and the challenges.Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson, Ignacio Bunye said that "unifying the people is an integral part of statesmanship".

When the President reaches out in humility to her critics and detractors, it is to send the message that our leaders "must set aside their personal and partisan concerns, as well as parochial interests, for the good of the nation", Bunye said.

Bunye further added that PGMA is bent on reconciliation and that "reconciliation means casting aside pessimism and doubt, and embracing all possibilities".

"We have not wavered in our quest for national unity despite several attempts to destabilize the administration," Bunye stressed, "because our call for unity is not about politics but about the welfare and well-being of the people."

"The Filipino people have been longing to see their leaders abandoning self-interest and standing side by side to face the challenges confronting them. Let us not fail their expectations," the Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson further emphasized. (PIA) [top]

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