MANILA, Philippines?President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wants to leave the political scene when her term expires in 2010, a Roman Catholic prelate said in the news website of the Catholic Bishops? Conference of the Philippines.
Butuan Bishop Juan De Dios Pueblos was quoted by cbcpnews.com as saying: ?Yes, she expressed it openly that no more (to politics). She will live a private life.?
He said Ms Arroyo made the promise to him last year.
The website described Pueblos as a prelate close to Ms Arroyo.
The archbishop said the country needed another person to continue the ?good things? that Ms Arroyo had done for Filipinos, according to the website.
?There are many people who want to make use of her so they want her to remain in power,? Pueblos said.
Pushing for automation
?My advice for her is just to continue her quest not to continue in power but to leave a good legacy,? he added.
At Malacañang, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said Ms Arroyo wasn?t giving up on full automation and expected the Commission on Elections to exhaust all ?legal means? to implement the project in 2010.
?President Arroyo remains hopeful that full automation of the coming 2010 national elections will still be realized,? Ermita said in a statement.
Ermita said Malacañang expected the Comelec Special Bids and Awards Committee to complete the bidding process in favor of full automation.
?We anticipate with much hope that the Comelec, through its Special Bids and Awards Committee, shall reach a decision that will be for the greater good of our people,? he said.
But if full automation could not be implemented, Malacañang also expected the poll body to have another option, Ermita said.
?We trust that the Comelec will have developed at the proper time a safe and acceptable back-up plan and alternative to full automation should the same be determined as difficult or risky to implement,? he said. With a report from TJ Burgonio