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PIA Press Release
2008/02/23

PGMA: The world will not forgive an EDSA III

Manila (23 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said today the world embraced EDSA I exactly 22 years ago and tolerated EDSA II -- but will not forgive an EDSA III.

In a 30-minute interview over radio station DZRH at its central office in Pasay City - where she motored this morning before flying to Eastern Samar to view the damage wrought by the latest weather disturbance to hit the country -- President Arroyo stressed, thus:

"Sa aking pananaw (in my personal assessment), the world embraced EDSA I in 1986; the world tolerated EDSA II in 2001; but the world will not forgive an EDSA III -- instead it will condemn the Philippines as a fractious political system that is hopelessly unstable…"

EDSA I refers to the bloodless People Power Revolution that took place along a stretch of Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Quezon City in February 1986 and ended the dictatorial rule of then President Ferdinand Marcos.

The President -- who was already garbed in her raincoat in preparation for her site inspection of the flood-devastated Eastern Visayas seaboard -- was interviewed by veteran broadcaster Joe Taruc from 7:45 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.

Preceded by Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye at the DZRH headquarters at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex along Roxas Blvd., the President greeted everyone a happy anniversary of EDSA I which, she said, was one of the most important events in the world in the 20th century.

"Isang mainit na pagbati sa lahat sa anibersaryo ng EDSA. Yung mga araw ng Feb. 22-26 noong 1986… ay importanteng mga araw ng ating kasaysayan at isa sa mga importanteng (kaganapan) sa buong 20th century sa buong mundo…"

President Arroyo, whose term of office has seen foreign investments in billions of dollars pouring into the country, said that were an EDSA III to triumph in the Philippines, investors will think twice about locating in the Philippines.

"Ang mangyayari dun, di sila (foreign investors) mag-i-invest sa Pilipinas… How will we weather the difficulty (brought about by) the rise in crude oil prices in the world market?"

The President - who has remained steadfast in her governance despite brickbats hurled her way - pointed out that "ang gusto ng Pilipino ay katatagan sa politika, maliwanag na kinabukasan sa economiya, panlipunang katarungan at yun ang aking tina-trabaho…"

Asked about how she is taking various "kung ano-anong" issues that have been whipped up by her detractors, including calls for her to resign, the President had this to say:

"Alam niyo, Joe, hindi siguro umabot nang ganitong kaganda ang ating ekonomiya, kung yung mga ganung bagay, yung mga istorbo sa politika, ang ating parating inaasikaso… Eh ako, naka-focused na parang laser beam sa ating ekonomiya…"

"Kaya naman, tingnan mo naman ang bunga ng ating focus na yun, at ganun pa rin ang aking attitude hanggang ngayon…" the President added.

Is she still able to sleep well at night despite all the hits from her political enemies? "Seven hours (of sleep)…a night, yun ang bahagi ng aking energy management. Kung gusto mo yung left side of your brain and right side of your brain ay mag-opera na mabuti, ang costumbre mo ay seven hours ang pagtulog…"

Anchor Taruc noted that, indeed, despite the said problems, "mukhang hindi naman kayo nawawala sa focus sa mga responsibilidad niyo bilang pangulo."

To this, the President stressed that "kasama na yun sa disiplina" as she revealed the advice of her late father (the late President Diosdado Macapagal) that she had taken to heart:

"Ang payo sa akin ng aking tatay -- 'Do what is right, do your best, and let God take care of the rest'…"

"At ang isa pang sinabi niya: 'The presidency is not a position to be enjoyed, it's a position where we have to work hard for the good of the people and, if necessary… you should be willing to suffer.'" (OPS) [top]

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