gma 2004 postersNagtahan Bridge, Manila, July 2, 2003 (Star) Palace disowns ‘GMA 2004’ posters. Malacañang asked the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) yesterday to remove the "GMA 2004" posters pasted on the posts of the flyover near the Nagtahan Bridge in Sta. Mesa, Manila.

Apparently acting on orders of his boss, Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye made the request to MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando as he vehemently denied that the Palace had anything to do with the posters.

"I think Chairman Fernando would have to do something about this because I don’t think it is appropriate to have such kind (of) material being posted at public (places)," Bunye said in an interview over state-owned Radyo ng Bayan.

The posters, which are actually old newspapers with "GMA 2004" stenciled in red paint, sprouted around the area of the flyover at the intersection of JP Laurel street and Lacson Avenue in Sta. Mesa.

The posters appeared in the area as supporters of President Arroyo reiterated their appeal for her to run in the May 10, 2004 elections, especially after her latest approval rating improved dramatically.

But despite the Palace order, posters continued to sprout in different areas in Manila, particularly along San Mercelino street in Ermita and Circumferential Road 10 in Tondo.

Mrs. Arroyo herself continued to shrug off her supporters’ persistent "lobby" and even refused to comment on an impassioned public appeal from the congressman of Davao Oriental, where she attended the 36th anniversary of the creation of the province.

Davao Oriental Rep. Mayo Almario (Lakas-CMD) said the President should reconsider her decision not to run for the sake of continuing her peace and development programs for Mindanao.

"We’re not fixated on next year’s elections but we are not only fixated but also addicted to peace, progress and development now and at least in the next six years," Almario said during the anniversary rites at the province’s capital of Mati.

"We believe that it is only through your tried and tested leadership that Mindanao will graduate from being just a land of promise to a land of fulfillment," Almario added.

But the President did not even respond to Almario’s appeal and instead announced the release of P1.5 million for Davao Oriental and P3 million for Davao del Norte to fund more public school buildings.

Meanwhile, First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, who celebrated his 57th birthday on June 27, gave a P2,000 bonus to Malacañang employees from the proceeds of a golf tournament held on his birthday.

Mr. Arroyo announced the bonus during the Monday morning flag-raising ceremony at the Palace grounds and said the money would come from "private" money raised during the First Gentleman’s Cup held during his birthday at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in Mandaluyong City. — Marichu Villanueva

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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