PGMA urges Myanmar to remain committed to democracy
Manila (14 October) -- President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Saturday expressed sympathies and condolences to the family of Myanmar Prime Minister Gen. Soe Win, who succumbed from a lingering illness at a military hospital.
"The Philippines is saddened to learn of the death of General Soe Win, the Prime Minister of the Union of Myanmar. In this time of bereavement, the Government and people of the Philippines would like to convey deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of Prime Minister Soe Win," the President said in a statement.
She said that the Prime Minister's death "comes during a most challenging time when Myanmar has to remain committed to the full implementation of its Roadmap to Democracy."
"The Philippines hopes that despite Prime Minister Soe Win's death, the Government of Myanmar seizes this opportunity to pursue its goals of national unity, reconciliation, and democratization," she added.
Gen. Soe Win, 59 years old, was the fourth-ranking member of the junta.
He had been ailing for months with what relatives said was acute leukemia. He returned Sept. 30 from extended hospitalization in Singapore and had been warded at Mingaladon Military Hospital on the outskirts of northern Yangon.
Lt. Gen. Thein Sein, who has been serving as acting prime minister at least since May, was expected to succeed Soe Win.
Thein Sein is known as a fierce loyalist of Senior Gen. Than Shwe, the junta leader. (PNA) [top]