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PIA Press Release

PGMA did not call for political ceasefire, says Malacañang

Manila (11 November) -- Malacanang said that a speech delivered by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last Friday was taken out of context as the Palace stressed that the President did not call for political ceasefire with the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

In her speech before the Local Peace and Security Assembly (LPSA) of Region 3 in Subic last Friday, the President said, "Our communities must pull together and set aside personal feuds and political differences."

Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said the Palace was surprised by reports that CBCP President and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo had issued a statement rejecting a purported call for political ceasefire by the President. There was "no such call…" the Press Secretary stressed.

"The Palace never called on CBCP for a political ceasefire. We checked why Archbishop Lagdameo issued such response, and after our verification, it looks like Archbishop Lagdameo was misled," Dureza pointed out.

Dureza added that Lagdameo's statement must have emanated from a news report on the President's statement at the Subic Freeport last Friday that was captioned thus: "Arroyo calls for political ceasefire."

Dureza surmised that maybe Archbishop Lagdameo -- without verifying the report that was "misleading and misconstrued" -- issued that "rejection" statement.

"I'd like to clarify that there is no such call for a political ceasefire and therefore it is inaccurate and without basis -- the rejection issued by the bishops," he stressed.

The President, in several statements issued lately, has been calling for unity, cooperation and less politicking amid the global financial crisis.

She said the coming Yuletide season should encourage Filipinos to "set aside personal differences and focus on improving the lives of the people."

In a related development, the Press Secretary doused cold water on reports of renewed destabilization plots against the Arroyo administration.

"People will not support shortcuts again because people power is not stabilizing at a time like this when we are faced by a global financial crisis," he said, adding that the call by the President's critics for her to step down is a "normal refrain."

He stressed that the President remains focused on her job of improving the lives of the people.

Dureza said the President is "not affected at all" as she keeps focused on two things -- her faith in God and governance. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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