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Philippine President Won't Resign over Gambling Scandal

20 June 2005

PHILIPPINES – As reported by Bloomberg: "Philippine President Gloria Arroyo said she won't resign, even if members of her family are found guilty of taking illegal gambling payoffs.

"Arroyo is facing increasing calls to stand down over the allegations -- made in a televised Senate inquiry this month -- and over accusations of vote-rigging reportedly supported by a series of recordings circulating across the nation. Arroyo's family has denied the gambling allegations and she has refused to comment on whether she is one of the voices on the tapes.

"`Under no circumstances will I resign,' Arroyo said in an interview in Hong Kong today. `I was duly elected by the people.'

"Arroyo made the trip to Hong Kong, after scrapping a longer trip to Europe and the U.S., in a bid to reassure investors she remains in control of the government, can rein in a record deficit and reduce an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent, the second-highest of 14 Asia-Pacific economies tracked by Bloomberg.

"…On June 9, a witness in a Senate hearing said she personally delivered 900,000 pesos ($16,176) in payoffs from illegal gambling operators to Arroyo's son and brother-in-law, both congressmen, one day in December…"

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