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Security threats thwart Arroyo attendance in econ briefing

September 12, 2007 11:58am
Malacañang as of 11:10 a.m. canceled President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's attendance in an economic briefing scheduled to take place Wednesday afternoon in Makati, due to security reasons. Presidential Security Group officials said rallyists sympathetic to former President Joseph Estrada have started to converge, one group meeting about a block away from the briefing's venue.

President Arroyo was scheduled to drop by the Philippine Mid-Year Economic Briefing which will be held 1:30 p.m. at the Rizal Ballroom of the Makati Shagri-La Hotel.

Brig. Gen. Romeo Prestoza of the PSG said they had expected the decision on the plunder and perjury cases of former President Joseph Estrada to be read fully and thus expected the verdict to come out fully only at around end at 5 p.m. However, the Sandiganbayan justices ordered the reading of only the dispositive portion of the decision.

The anti-graft court convicted Estrada of plunder charge, but found him not guilty of the perjury raps.

Prestoza said that because of the rulling, rallyists sympathetic to the in Makati City have started to converge and the nearest one is only a block away from the venue. He said there is the danger that the protesters could proceed to the venue or meet the presidential convoy.

“It’s our job to protect her," Prestoza said.

Prestoza earlier said he has advised Arroyo to just stay within the Malacañang compound so that security forces guarding her and the complex would not have to be divided. - GMANews.TV
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