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Philippines Bishops back beseiged President

The influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has endorsed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, under the attack from former allies, saying her policies are the best option for the country.

Pointing out there is no "realistic alternative to Arroyo" Orlando Quevedo, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said it will not support any move to oust the incumbent head of the state.

"I do not see the Church supporting an artificially created 'People's Power' trying to raise the banner of a contrived and artificially created national crisis," said Quevedo in a statement.

Earlier former allies of Arroyo, under the Council on Philippines Affairs (Copa) renounced ties with the leader, after Teofisto Guingona, the Vice President was forced to resign from his concurrent post as Secretary of Foreign Affairs over ''policy differences''.

Arroyo and Guingona had difference of opinion on their views concerning the government's close ties with the United States, which have been eliciting Manila's support in its global campaign against terrorism, while the Philippines had been asking for more military aid from Washington.

Gulf News

16 Jul 2002