JULY 5, 2009 (OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY, MALACANANG) Malacañang today expressed elation over the smooth resolution of the snags in poll automation for next year following the compromise reached between winning bidders Total Information Management and foreign partner, SmartMatic of Colombia.

In an interview over Radyo ng Bayan, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said “this is good news as everyone, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the entire nation, is waiting for poll automation to happen.”

“We are very happy and we hope that our countrymen will have complete faith and trust in the Commission on Elections now. They saw that we are doing everything possible to ensure that our 2010 polls will be smooth and orderly,” she said.

Fajardo called on everyone’s support to put an end to all speculations and criticisms.” What we need now is for us to work together and put our trust in our institutions.”

“Let us be vigilant in protecting our right of suffrage, with or without automation. The success of our election in 2010 rests on the hands of our countrymen, so their full support is very vital. We must watch our vote even if there is poll automation,” she said.

Fajardo expressed hopes that the scheduled signing of the contract between TIM and SmartMatic on the implementation of the poll automation will “push through without snags.”

“I’m sure they also have their social responsibility to fulfill their commitment. We are hoping and I suppose that there’ll be no more problems. If there will be problems along the way, then these can be settled. We should hope for the best and be optimistic about it,” she said. TOP


Tough grind awaits recharged PGMA next week

Four days after checking out of the Asian Hospital and Medical Center for a self-imposed quarantine, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will be back to her usual tough grind starting Monday as accommodates several engagements she missed while in the hospital.

Deputy Presidential Spokesman Lorelei Fajardo said the President will definitely be back to her normal routine and will be all over the country in the next few days as a hands-on chief executive.

“Ang alam ko marami siyang provincial sorties starting next week hindi ko pa ma-disclose sa ngayon baka magkaroon ng mga changes (I think she has a provincial sorties starting next week but I cannot disclose as of now due of the possible changes in the schedule),” Fajardo said this morning in a radio interview.

Fajardo said the President will visit Southern Leyte, among others to inspect some of the priority infrastructure projects and pro-poor programs of the government. She is also scheduled to visit the provinces of Lanao Del Norte and Bukidnon.

Despite the advice of health officials for her to limit provincial engagements, the President will go on with her provincial sorties, after her gynecologist declared that she was in the pink of health.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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