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Goff Welcomes Swearing In Of Arroyo

21 January 2001


Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff has welcomed the swearing in and peaceful transition of power of new Philippines President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Mr Goff said that President Arroyo, whom he met in Manila last July, has the capability and character to do the job well.

"The growing strength of evidence supporting corruption charges against former President Joseph Estrada and the overwhelming loss of confidence in his leadership made it impossible for him to continue in office."

"The peaceful transition of power to the former Vice-President Gloria Arroyo upholds and strengthens the constitution and democratic system in the Philippines.

"It also allows the Philippines after a period of bitter controversy, when political attention was diverted from pressing political and economic problems, to again focus on the important issues before it.

"President Macapagal-Arroyo has the ability and the personal characteristics to provide the Philippines with the leadership it needs. The daughter of popular former President Macapagal, she is a Georgetown University trained economist with considerable political experience.

"Her focus on key issues of elimination of poverty, improvement in the standards of government and political life, and leadership by example will help restore confidence by Philippinos in their government," said Mr Goff.

New Zealand is a major trading partner of the Philippines with exports of over $300 million a year. President Arroyo's track record has been to support trade liberalisation.

"New Zealand confidently looks forward to a strengthening of its economic and political relationship with the Philippines under President Arroyo's leadership," Mr Goff said.


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