PGMA, Cabinet members take "solidarity walk"
Manila (20 February) -- In a move to show their solidarity and unwavering support for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the members of the Cabinet took a so-called "solidarity walk" with her before the scheduled Procurement Transparency Group- National Economic and Development Authority-Cabinet Group meeting in Malacaņang yesterday morning.
Dressed in a fire red dress suit, the President, flanked or followed by her Cabinet men, walked through the Palace courtyard from the Executive Guest House to the Aguinaldo State Dining Room where they met for more than two hours to discuss the government's continuing campaign to rid the bureaucracy of corruption as part of the quest for peace and economic prosperity.
On Monday, the Cabinet members issued a joint statement declaring their solid support for the President whom they said "deserves to finish her mandated term until 2010."
Yesterday, they "walk(ed) the talk" to show to those calling for the resignation of the President and her Cabinet that they would stick it out with her.
In their joint statement, they stated that they believe the President is doing much for the country, especially the economy which posted the fastest growth in three decades at 7.3 percent in 2007, and reduced the budget deficit to P9.4 billion, the lowest in more than 10 years.
All the Cabinet members were present during the "solidarity walk" except those who are out of the country.
Vice President Noli de Castro, Commission on Higher Education Chair Romulo Neri, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Esperanza Cabral, Science and Technology Secretary Estrella Alabastro, Public Works and Highways Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Lito Atienza, Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr., Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye, Presidential Management Staff Director-General Cerge Remonde, Cabinet Secretary Ricardo Saludo and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Bayani Fernando were among those who took the "solidarity walk."
Also present were Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. and Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Avelino Razon.
The Cabinet men stressed that they would not be swayed by political noise and that they are proud to be working with the President in improving the lives of the people. (OPS) [top]