IMPEACH MOVE LEADERS KULANG SA PANSIN -- GMA

Manila, Jan. 22, 2003 - President Gloria Arroyo has shrugged off opposition calls to impeach her, a spokesman said Tuesday, remarking that those behind the campaign were "probably just hungry for publicity".

The impeachment campaign "has no chance to prosper", presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye told government radio.

The corruption allegations hurled against Arroyo in the impeachment complaint had already been investigated in the Senate, he added.

"This is just an old song that is being played again and again. Those behind it are the same people who keep on repeating their charges. I guess that they are just hungry for publicity," Bunye said.

Opposition politicians, led by former senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Francisco Tatad, alleged that Arroyo was guilty of "culpable violation of constitution, bribery, graft and corrupt practices, and betrayal of the public trust".

Enrile and Tatad are both identified with former president Joseph Estrada who was impeached by congress and later ousted in a military-backed uprising in 2001 over a massive corruption scandal. Arroyo, who was Estrada's vice-president, was installed in his place.

Bunye dismissed comparisons between Arroyo and her predecessor, saying it was clear there was a "very large difference" between them. Estrada is in detention while being tried for graft.


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