, November 1, 2005
(STAR) We mark this day to remember the departed, and reflect upon the inexorable cycle of life and death that spares no one on this earth.

We do not only reminisce those moments of life and joy with those who have gone ahead of us, but the shared sacrifice of building families and friendships around a life well lived, in the spirit of sharing and serving one another.

So it is with a nation. Today we remember the departed Filipino from all walks of life, throughout our history of struggle and triumph, in all corners of this earth — whose blood, sweat and tears shaped and built this great country that harbors our dreams and aspirations.

We remember them today side by side with our loved ones, as we extol the past and look towards a brighter future.

May those who have passed away rest in peace, and may God bless us all.

Palace vows to reach out to form government of national unity The Philippine Star 11/01/2005

Ignoring cynics and hecklers from the opposition, President Arroyo will continue to reach out to various groups to form a government of national unity, Malacañang said yesterday.

Presidential Political Adviser Gabriel Claudio said the President is doing this for the people. Environment Secretary Michael Defensor, one of the officials working on effecting a reconciliation with the President’s political opponents, said rejecting Mrs. Arroyo’s call meant not heeding the appeal of religious leaders to end political bickering.

"The cynicism and heckling by some elements of the opposition will not deter the administration from continuing to reach out to the reasonable and responsible segments of society," Claudio said.

He added that "in no time, the people should be able to distinguish those who genuinely want unity for the common good of our people and those who simply want to topple the government at all costs."

Members of the opposition flatly rejected the President’s proposal for a government of national unity wherein they would be appointed to Cabinet and other positions in her administration.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said Mrs. Arroyo was "dreaming" when she called for the creation of a unity government to give the opposition the chance to work with the administration on programs and reforms.

"We won’t accept the offer because we only wanted to be in power," he said. "We want a stop in the anomalies in the government — and then we will shut up."

Pimentel said the opposition wishes to let the public "know the roots of the problem: the lack of morality and the fraud in the past elections." "If there are solutions, then the government will not hear any more attacks from us," he added.

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said the government should have some measure of political unity to enable the economy to finally take off. — Aurea Calica, Edith Regalado

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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