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President Gloria takes swipe
at FPJ's campaign gimmicks

April 15, 2004

MANILA (PNA/Luzi Ann R. Javier ) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo practically took a swipe at the campaign gimmicks of her closest rival in the presidential, race, actor Fernando Poe, Jr.

Addressing business at the Presidential Series ,04 of the Makati City, Business Club at the Hotel Intercontinental in Makati City, the President said the voters were wise enough to look beyond slogans, rallies and image.

&It is not enough to have affinity for the poor. A leader must present a specific platform for how to break the cycle of poverty and cynicism that pervades the nation,8 the President said.

Even the MBC highlighted Poe's lack of a concrete program of government in the matrix it created to allow its members to easily compare the qualifications, credentials and plan for the country.

Noticeably blank were the spaces allotted for Poe's plan for the economy and the information and communications technology sector.

The matrix also indicated that Poe has no stand on such critical issues as the death penalty and other social concerns.

Mrs. Arroyo even pointed out other important matters where Poe has been silent on.

She said the voters can vote &for someone who has no plan for education, no plan for clean water, no plan for job creation, no plan for healthcare, no plan for energy and no plan for international relations.8

She stressed that the public don't want slogans, they want results; they don't want talks, they want action; they don't want big rallies, they want a big paycheck.8

Poe is known to draw hunger crowds in his political rallies, having been the king of action movies for decades.

Criticizing Poe's campaign line, the President said, &yes we need to provide breakfast, lunch and dinner, but we won't be accomplished by leaders and their backroom advisers who instead only provide a steady diet of political attack and lawsuits.8

Poe had criticized the President's program that she aimed at providing food on the table of every poor family. More than just providing food on the table, Poe said he would ensure the people would have breakfast, lunch and dinner.

&The choice is clear: You can build on a strong start we have made with our pro-poor platform that is brimming with new ideas for the future; or the Philippines can start again with a cynical platform empty of ideas and stuck in the past,8 the President said.

Even MBC chair Ricardo Romulo questioned Poe's competence to lead the country.

Without naming Poe, Romulo said, &one candidate aspires to be our leader because his heart is in the right place. And that seems to be all he has to offer.8

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