Noli still a GMA ally

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — VICE President Noli de Castro is definitely not bolting the Arroyo regime amid persistent calls for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to step down in the wake of corruption allegations triggered by the scrapped $329-million broadband ZTE mess.

In fact, De Castro is clinging on to President Arroyo, pointing out closer working ties as housing czar.

De Castro showed up himself anew yesterday with the President at the provincial kick-off ceremony of “CEDAW (UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women) ng Bayan Kayamanan ng Kababaihan” at Bgy. Pasong Kawayan at Gen. Trias, Cavite, and the groundbreaking of the Pamayanang Maliksi-Cavite mass housing project.

The Vice President has been rumored to be distancing himself off from Mrs. Arroyo, but Palace officials that included Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye stressed he remains an ally of the President.

De Castro has urged the President to yield to the demand of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to scrap the controversial Executive Order 464 to ferret out the truth on the NBN ZTE scandal.

The Vice President’s position is in sharp contrast to Palace stance.
De Castro stuck with the President in almost all of her engagements Tuesday, including the signing of the Civil Aviation Authority Act of the Philippines held at Malacañang.

In her speech, the President twitted anew her critics wanting her to bid goodbye.

“Cedaw at hindi sigaw ang makakatulong upang makaahon ang ating bayan mula sa kahirapan,” the President reiterated.

Also, the President bared that the Philippines’s women empowerment has won plaudits from the United Nations. She added the UN has cited the Philippines as among the six countries in the world with gender parity apart from our Medium Term Development Plan which adheres to the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

Cavite Gov. Ayong Maliksi also renewed his provincemates’ full support to the Arroyo administration as leader of the land until 2010.

Maliksi thanked the President for favoring his local folks with various infrastructure and housing projects such as the coastal road extension, Daang Hari road, revision of the extension of the LRT Line 1 linking Pasay City to Cavite.