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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Arroyo: Mea Culpa

Mga Minamahal kong Kababayan,

For the last several weeks, the issue of the tape recordings has spun
out of control. Tonight, I want to set the record straight. You
deserve an explanation; from me, because you are the people I was
elected to serve.

As you recall, the election canvassing process was unnecessarily slow
even after the election results were already in and the votes had been
counted.

I was anxious to protect my votes and during that time had
conversations with many people, including a Comelec official. My
intent was not to influence the outcome of the election, and it did
not. As I mentioned, the election had already been decided and the
votes counted. And as you remember, the outcome had been predicted by
every major public opinion poll, and adjudged free, fair and decisive
by international election observers, and our own Namfrel.

That said, let me tell you how I personally feel, I recognize that
making any such call was a lapse in judgment. I'm sorry. I also regret
taking so long to speak before you on this matter. I take full
responsibility for my actions and to you and to all those good
citizens who may have had their faith shaken by these events. I want
to assure you that I have redoubled my efforts to serve the nation and
earn your trust.

Nagagambala ako. Maliwanag na may kakulangan sa wastong pagpapasya ang
nangyaring pagtawag sa telepono.//pinagsisisihan ko ito ng lubos.//
Pinana'gutan ko nang lubusan ang aking mga ginawa at humuhingi ako ng
tawad sa inyo, sa lahat ng mga butihing mamamayan na nabawasan ng
tiwala dahil sa mga pangyayaring ito. Ibig kong tiyakin sa inyo na
lalo pa akong magsisikap upang maglingkod sa bayan at matamo ang
inyong tiwala.

I took office with a mandate to carry out a plan for the nation. Since
that time, I have focused on making the tough but necessary decisions
to make up for years of economic neglect. We passed a comprehensive
fiscally responsible national budget; raised new and necessary
revenues to reinvest in the people; and implemented new
anti-corruption measures that have led to the highest collection of
taxes in history.

Nothing should stand in the way of this work, or the next phase of my
reform agenda, which includes new investments in education and social
services with our new revenues; and an expansion of our successful
anti-corruption and lifestyle checks.

That is why I want to close this chapter and move on with the business
of governing.

I ask each and every one of you to join hands with me in a show of
unity, to help forge One Philippines, where everyone is equal under
the law, and where everyone has the opportunity to use their God-given
talents to make a better life.

Our nation is strong and getting stronger. The progress is steady and
I ask you to walk with me on this journey to rebuild our great nation.
I remain your humble servant and promise you that I will fulfill my
constitutional oath of office to serve the people to the best of my
ability.

God Bless the Philippines.

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