Arroyo hits Aquino in New Year message

By Kathlyn dela Cruz,

Posted at Jan 01 2013 11:47 PM | Updated as of Jan 02 2013 06:37 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took a swipe at President Benigno Aquino III in her New Year message, saying the government's anti-corruption slogan "continues to be mocked by the abuse of political power."

"We are concerned that the slogan of anti-corruption still remains to be validated by measurable progress, and continues to be mocked by the abuse of political power to favor those on the inside while persecuting those on the other side," Pampanga Rep. Arroyo said on Tuesday.

She added the promise of public-private partnership projects remains to be realized with no project yet completed.

"The promise of ideas like PPP remains to be realized by the actual start, let alone completion, of new projects that will improve upon the substantial infrastructure we have already built," Arroyo said.

The former president also said the economic progress the country is experiencing now was first achieved during her administration.

"The fiscal stability and macroeconomic resilience that was first achieved on my watch still remains to be translated into more foreign direct investments that will ultimately deliver the inclusive growth that the business sector and the impoverished three million unemployed Filipinos are still waiting for," she said.

Arroyo said she hopes "true justice (will) be administered to all without bias and prejudice."

Arroyo to Garcia: Your province loves you

In a separate statement issued Tuesday, Arroyo said she also hopes Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia will be given due justice after this was served a six-month suspension order by Malacañang last December 19.

She urged Garcia to stay strong and to continue praying for guidance for Cebuanos.

Addressing the governor, Arroyo said, "Your being chosen to serve three times speaks well of your endearment to your provincemates."
The former president said they should both have faith in the fairness of the country's justice system and rule of law.

"Let us continue to have faith in the fairness of our justice system and rule of law. The challenges that we are now facing should be met with dignified courage and a burning desire to serve as mandated," she said.

Arroyo remains under hospital arrest for the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office plunder case.

Garcia, meanwhile, has been staying in the provincial capital in an act of defiance against the suspension order. -- With a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News; ANC