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Will Arroyo's apology over 'Gloriagate' save her?

Updated On: Jun 28, 2005

Manila – After three weeks of keeping mum over “Gloriagate”, the Philippine President on June 27 pleaded mea culpa – of sorts. In a statement aired live over radio and television, Mrs Gloria Arroyo denied charges of electoral fraud but apologised for a "lapse of judgement" for telling an election official that she wanted a million-vote victory margin.

    "I'm sorry," she said, adding that she also regretted "taking so long to speak before you on this matter". 
    "For the last several weeks, the issue of the tape recordings has spun out of control," said  Mrs Arroyo. She was referring to the tape recording of a phone call between a woman sounding like her allegedly asking an election official whether her lead could fall below one million votes. Mrs Arroyo subsequently beat her nearest rival,  the now-deceased film star Fernando Poe, by more than a million votes. 
    The President said the conversations with an election official were a "lapse in judgment" but denied attempting to influence the polls.  Mrs Arroyo noted that "the election had already been decided and votes counted" when the conversations took place.
    Seeing that the canvassing process was going "unnecessarily slow", Mrs  Arroyo said she had conversations "with many people, including a Comelec (Commission on Elections) official".   
    "My intent was not to influence the outcome of the election, and it did not," she said. 
    The President, whose popularity rating is at a record low, said she would not resign and appealed for unity.
    But the opposition and leftist groups that have held street protests against her since the scandal broke said they won’t let up, reported the Associated Press. 
    "She has admitted guilt," leftist House of Representatives Teodoro Casino told the news agency. "It was an illegal act, not a simple lapse of judgment. The next proper thing for her to do is to resign or be impeached." 
    Representative Roilo Golez, an Arroyo ally, told the Inquirer News Service that he was "deeply saddened" by the admission, which he said would  batter the country's image abroad. He said he needed time to think whether he would support any move legally to oust the President.

Manila – After three weeks of keeping mum over “Gloriagate”, the Philippine President on June 27 pleaded mea culpa – of sorts. In a statement aired live over radio and television, Mrs Gloria Arroyo denied charges of electoral fraud but apologised for a "lapse of judgement" for telling an election official that she wanted a million-vote victory margin.

* Arroyo apologises but denies election fraud (Inquirer News Service, June 27)

    "I'm sorry," she said, adding that she also regretted "taking so long to speak before you on this matter". 
    "For the last several weeks, the issue of the tape recordings has spun out of control," said  Mrs Arroyo. She was referring to the tape recording of a phone call between a woman sounding like her allegedly asking an election official whether her lead could fall below one million votes. Mrs Arroyo subsequently beat her nearest rival,  the now-deceased film star Fernando Poe, by more than a million votes. 
    The President said the conversations with an election official were a "lapse in judgment" but denied attempting to influence the polls.  Mrs Arroyo noted that "the election had already been decided and votes counted" when the conversations took place.
    Seeing that the canvassing process was going "unnecessarily slow", Mrs  Arroyo said she had conversations "with many people, including a Comelec (Commission on Elections) official".   
    "My intent was not to influence the outcome of the election, and it did not," she said. 
    The President, whose popularity rating is at a record low, said she would not resign and appealed for unity.
    But the opposition and leftist groups that have held street protests against her since the scandal broke said they won’t let up, reported the Associated Press. 
    "She has admitted guilt," leftist House of Representatives Teodoro Casino told the news agency. "It was an illegal act, not a simple lapse of judgment. The next proper thing for her to do is to resign or be impeached." 
    Representative Roilo Golez, an Arroyo ally, told the Inquirer News Service that he was "deeply saddened" by the admission, which he said would  batter the country's image abroad. He said he needed time to think whether he would support any move legally to oust the President.

* Arroyo apologises but denies election fraud (Inquirer News Service, June 27)