MALACANANG, October 8, 2003  (From The Office of the Press Secretary)

Statement of the President : Supreme Court Decision

The High Court has spoken and must be unconditionally obeyed. My office has never pressured the Court in any of its decisions and has unhesitatingly complied with these as a matter of public duty. Every Filipino must be bound by the rule of law.
Statement of the President : Global Corruption Report

It must be emphasized that this is a report on perceptions of corruption that does not take into consideration hard evidentiary cases, or positive actions by governments. We may not have breached the level of perceptions on corruption in our country but we are surely doing something about it, which is not reflected in the report.

Our procedural reforms and lifestyle checks are taking their toll on corruption. Our revenue agencies are registering increases in collections. The drive for good governance is inexorably moving forward and we are confident it will eventually have an influence on perceptions of our country.

Statement of the President : Camp Crame Incident

I condole with the families of the three slain police officers. I have already ordered a summary probe on the incident and I shall decide on its results once they are in. I have also directed the DILG and the PNP to fast track the maximum security detention facility in Camp Crame to forestall the escape of high profile detainees and to obviate these untoward incidents. Greater discipline and proactive measures are in order.

Statement of the President : Sabah Kidnap Incident

Prime Minister Mahathir and I have agreed to close ranks in going after the kidnappers. Our naval officials are coordinating with the Sabah authorities. A joint search is focused along our common southwestern seas and border areas. We will continue to network intelligence and operations to close the dragnet. We are treating this as a crime leveled against the Philippines and Malaysia. Filipinos and Malaysians are victims, and the incident breaches our common ramparts of security.

GMA says high tribunal not presured by Malacanang

Malacaņang has nothing to do with the latest ruling by the Supreme Court on the controversial Kuratong Baleleng case.

"The High Court has spoken and must be unconditionally obeyed," President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said in a statement.

The President is winding up her working trip to Bali, Indonesia, where she is attending the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit. The Supreme Court issued its decision on the Kuratong Baleleng Tuesday.

"My office has never pressured the Court in any of its decisions and has unhesitatingly complied with these as a matter of public duty," the President said.

"Every Filipino must be bound by the rule of law," she added.

In a 31-page decision, the high tribunal dismissed with finality the motion for reconsideration of Senator Panfilo Lacson on an earlier decision of the court to reopen the case.

Penned by Associate Justice Romeo Callejo Sr., eight of the Justices concurred while four dissented and two abstained. Justice Renato Corona is on leave.

Cabinet Secretary and Deputy Presidential Spokesman Ricardo Saludo also dismissed the claim of Lacson that Malacaņang had influenced the ruling of the high court.

"The Supreme Court is an independent body and can not be influenced by the Executive branch. We have separate powers," Saludo said.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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