GMA  UPHOLDS  RULE  OF  LAW, SAYS SHE WILL SEE MANDATE  THROUGH

MANILA, June 24, 2005
(STAR) Malacañang Friday said that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has always upheld the rule of law and said she will see her mandate through.

This as Cecilia Muñoz Palma, a retired Supreme Court justice who headed the constitutional commission that drafted the 1987 Constitution, had earlier said the impeachment process should be applied to resolve allegations that Pres. Arroyo cheated her way to victory in last year’s presidential election.

In reaction, Press Secretary Ignacio R. Bunye said, "The stand of the President is always to uphold the rule of law. But whether impeachment is called for is another matter."

"The President has always acted in accordance with her legal mandate," Bunye said.

However, the presidential spokesperson declared the President will not turn her back on her mandate.

"She was elected on a platform of urgent change and reforms. She has completed Phase 1 of her reforms. She intends to see other reforms through," Bunye declared.

Palma had said Thursday the accusations raised by the alleged wiretapped conversations of Pres. Arroyo on rigging the May 2004 polls should be resolved by the rule of law instead of bringing the matter to the public.

Pres. Arroyo’s predecessor, Joseph Estrada, is the only Philippine president ever to be impeached.

Estrada was impeached in late 2000 over allegations that he ran an illegal gambling protection racket and amassed millions of pesos in bribes from jueteng syndicates during his 31-month presidency.

But the unprecedented impeachment trial was aborted when the Estrada-controlled Senate, sitting as the impeachment court, voted to reject key prosecution evidence, triggering public outrage that turned into a popular uprising that is now called "EDSA people power II."

Estrada was toppled and is currently on trial for plunder and other corruption charges before the Sandiganbayan.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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