Jun 29, 2005 — MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo moved dramatically on Wednesday to reduce pressure on her government from graft allegations, saying her husband had agreed to leave the country.
She did not say how long her husband, Jose Miguel and known widely as Mike, would remain abroad. Opposition lawmakers have said he, the couple’s son and other family members were involved in payoffs from gambling syndicates, but nothing has been proved.
Her husband has also been accused by the opposition of helping Arroyo try to fix the results of last year’s election in telephone conversations with an election official.
“Today, my family is once again called to sacrifice our personal happiness to allow me to serve best as president of our country,” Arroyo, her voice cracking with emotion, told a business forum in Manila.
“My husband has volunteered to go abroad. I mention this here today because I want to signal to everyone that nothing can stop my administration from implementing … our reform agenda.”
Volunteered? That’s rich, as I said it borders on being satire. It also gives “Mike” an opportunity to stash any US assets from prying legal eyes. One note of advise to the Philippine customs department. Better give “Mike” a complete inspection on his way out of the country. There’s no telling how much may be secreted out under the guise of “personnel papers.”
On a more serious note, Archbishop Oscar Cruz advised President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to “just go” and “there is life after the presidency.”
That’s most likely true, the question is will that life be behind bars.
Cross Posted On the Third Hand.