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NEWS UPDATES 27 July 2009

Filipinos await Arroyo’s last address

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Philippines’ President Gloria Arroyo will be delivering her ninth and last state of the nation address on Monday, reported Channel News Asia.

An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 protesters from different groups are expected to hold a vigil rally on Sunday to express their grievances with the administration.

Gary Olivar, presidential economic spokesperson, said: "The president will take the opportunity to talk about her substantial achievements on her watch. Compared to all previous administrations, economic growth was the highest under her, and average inflation was the lowest under her. There were the creation of over five million jobs and the protection of the economy even at the teeth of recession."

The president will also take the opportunity to clarify many political issues surrounding her administration.

Just last month, Arroyo's allies in congress adopted a resolution that will allow for congress to convene as a constituent assembly to amend the constitution, a move many perceive a step towards extending the president's term.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said: "The president will be saying categorically that there will be elections in 2010 and she is asking everyone to help ensure the success of those elections. There is not going to be any call for charter change, or whatever.

"All this black propaganda against the Con-ass (Constitution by themselves through a constituent assembly) being launched, and with the SONA (State of the Nation Address) being used as a platform to declare martial law, they have no basis than plain and simple intrigue and speculations."



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