MANILA, September 10, 2005
(STAR) Malacañang cited Thursday the importance of quickly consolidating the energies and resources of the nation following the exasperating impeachment proceedings at the House of Representatives, which resulted in the junking of the complaint against President Gloria Arroyo.

Press Secretary Ignacio R. Bunye said in a statement that there is an urgent need to return to the business of the economy soonest in order to bring in the investments and create more jobs.

"We need to execute pro-poor programs and get the legislative mill on track to gain the momentum for take-off," he said.

Bunye said there is also a need to gear up for debates on the budget and on Charter change which the President has been pushing to "exorcise the demons in the country’s political system."

"If there is one great lesson to be learned from the recent impeachment process, it is the fact that we must amend our Constitution so that our nation need not suffer the scars of intense political combat every time there is a bid to change the President," he said.

"We can emulate the style and substance of more developed political systems. The debate on Charter change must now be done in earnest," he added.

The Press Secretary likewise cited the need to address the looming energy crisis and the renewed perils of terrorism.

"But to do all these," he said, "we need to quickly consolidate the energies and resources of our nation."

The President herself has stated that there is an urgent need to address the more pressing needs of the country to bolster the momentum of reforms and services that are essential to investments and jobs.

In earlier pronouncements, the Palace noted the importance of public support in the government’s quest to effectively address the problems by working hand-in-hand with the administration.

"That’s the only way to go forward, you have to unite and let’s try to address the basic problems that we face. There are more problems that we should address together instead of separately," an earlier Malacañang statement said.

After painful impeachment episode, GMA starting anew The Philippine Star 09/10/2005

President Arroyo appealed yesterday to civil servants, among them soldiers and policemen, to help her "start anew" amid threats that government workers would join protest rallies after lawmakers last Tuesday threw out the impeachment complaints against her.

"Help me be a good and just President," he said. "Let us offer our people a fresh start by giving them the best services possible — marked by professionalism, courtesy and integrity.

"Let our team spirit be enhanced by open dialogue, more opportunities for growth and knowledge, and a system of rewards and incentives to those who excel in the line of duty."

Mrs. Arroyo thanked the public officials and workers for keeping the government functioning despite the political crisis befuddling her administration.

"Through all periods of political turmoil in our past, the public servant has always been the great stabilizer of the nation and keeper of the people’s welfare," she said.

"Through this latest episode of partisan conflict, I thank you once more for keeping governance on an even keel. I seek an active partnership with you — from our public school teachers, men and women in uniform, to our medical and social workers, field personnel, messengers and clerks — those who wear the badge of public service with great pride and honor," Mrs. Arroyo said.

She added it was time for Filipino civil servants to take center stage in bridging the gap between the government and the people by doing the best they could.

"I call on you to be by my side as we redouble our efforts to fight poverty, prevent corruption and promote a system of laws, and not of men, for the greater good of the nation," she said.

"Let us have fresh start based on mutual respect, commitment, unity and teamwork. Let us lead the nation and serve the people and take them to the threshold of a brighter future."

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said the administration was not threatened by the moves of Mrs. Arroyo’s opponents to bring her down after their impeachment bid was defeated.

Mrs. Arroyo even saw fit to thank government workers after the complaint against her was finally dismissed by the House of Representatives, he added.

The rallies were "part of our working democracy" and the government would just have to focus on improving the delivery of services to the people to counter opposition efforts to recruit civil servants in protest actions, Bunye said. — Aurea Calica

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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