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PIA Press Release

Palace says PGMA will push 3 remaining agenda

Manila (11 May) -- The results of the May 10 elections notwithstanding, there will be no change in the direction and pace of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's agenda of transition, stability and legacy during the remaining 50 days of her term, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Gary Olivar said today.

"The President will be working at her usual frenetic pace to complete as much unfinished business as she can in her remaining time, and leave to her successor a substantial legacy to build upon, if he or she so chooses," Olivar said during his regular press briefing at Malacanang.

After the elections, Olivar said the balance of the President's agenda would revolve around three main themes: transition, stability, and legacy.

"Whoever our people may elect to succeed the President, that person can be assured that the full weight and might of the (Arroyo) administration's resources will be brought to bear to ensure an orderly transfer of power to the president-elect, and the maintenance of stability and continuity of our essential republican institutions," the Palace official stressed.

He also said that the momentum President Arroyo generated over the past nine years of her administration "would serve as a starting point for her legislative agenda," in case her province-mates elect her as their representative for the second congressional district of Pampanga.

Olivar took the Palace press briefing as an opportunity to commend the Commission in Election (Comelec) for what he said was the success of yesterday's national and local elections which for the first time in the country's history employed an automated technology.

The success of our recent political exercise will certainly be "a feather in the cap" of Comelec, Olivar said, admitting that the poll's body over the years "has not had a smooth relationship with our voters."

He said that today's automated election will also mark the fulfillment of one of the two remaining event-based commitments of the President under her 10-point "Beat the Odds" agenda.

The other commitment, he said, is a balanced budget, which was on track but which was overtaken by last year's global recession. Olivar said President Arroyo would leave the budget issue to her successor.

"This is now history is intended to be made , this is how the country is supposed to be built-one step at a time, one stone at a time into the grand edifice, " Olivar, a university professor, who was a known student-activist leader in the 70s.

Peaceful, orderly, successful

Malacanang, in an initial assessment of yesterday's election exercise, voiced confidence that the automated polls will be a success as reports streaming from different parts of the country showed a positive trend.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Gary Olivar said only minor difficulties are being experienced by election personnel. He said that complaints are machine-related, problems which he said are at manageable levels.

"As to the outcome of the first-ever automation of elections in our country, we are just as optimistic, according to Olivar in an election-related briefing in Malacanang yesterday (May 10).

On the other hand, Education Secretary Mona Valisno cited reports from the regional officers of DepEd indicating an orderly conduct of the elections in DepEd premises.

She also said that the problems of long queues by voters eager to cast their vote in the computerized system rather make the recent election a significant event in the country's history.

The optimism of the two officials about a peaceful trend for the rest of the day and the next few days, was shared by the Philippine National Police (PNP) whose spokesperson Leonardo Espina even ventured into describing the May 10 polls as "the most peaceful ", the two other elections in the past considered.

"Peace and order in the country is generally peaceful" Espina said.

He attributed the orderly conduct of the elections to the long preparations made by the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Commission in Elections ( Comelec) and DepEd.

He added that the PNP has established 36,000 security attendance desks mostly situated 50 meters away from voting centers nationwide to protect polling precincts.

With the shift from manual to automated counting, the new system promises faster results and Olivar said "tonight (Monday) we will begin the cycle of electronic transmission of precinct counts and the canvassing up to national level." (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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