MANILA, Philippines?With Senator Benigno "Noynoy'' Aquino all but being declared as the next leader of the nation, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said Tuesday that her government was now preparing to ensure the smooth transfer of power to her successor.
In her first public speech after the May 10 polls, Arroyo spoke during the 112th anniversary of the Philippine Navy to thank the Commission on Elections, the military and the police for a job well done to make the first automated elections a success.
"Yesterday was a great day for our nation,'' Arroyo said, noting that the votes continue to come in as she declared Monday?s polls to be "fair, free and open.''
"The new electronic voting was a great leap forward for ensuring a smooth and protected vote,'' she also said.
Arroyo called on everyone in government to ensure that the new government "has the benefit from Day One of a strong stable government ready to continue work on behalf of the people who elected them.''
She also sought for cooperation with the incoming government.
"No matter which candidate emerges victorious, we must all respect the outcome and work with this newly elected officials to take our country forward,'' she said.
And in preparation for her successor, Arroyo said she has instructed Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza to lead the "presidential transition cooperation team'' which will work closely with the representatives of the next President "to ensure peaceful, orderly and [efficient] transition on the 30th of June.''
She said she had signed the administrative order creating the transition team and that she and the Cabinet were set to discuss the transition "blueprint'' prepared by Mendoza.