Philippine outgoing president gives nationwide farewell speech

21:28, June 23, 2010      

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Philippine outgoing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Wednesday night called on the whole nation to support the next administration led by President-elect Benigno Aquino III and hoped that her successor would build on her achievements and continue programs that have benefitted the country.

In a five-minute televised address, the president said she is leaving the nation in much better shape than it was when she assumed office in 2001, and urged everyone to "look around" them to see what she is bequeathing the people.

"I feel confident that we are leaving this nation much stronger than when I came to office. But I leave that for history to judge. Tonight, I call on everyone to unite behind our new leaders. I am optimistic and I am hopeful about our future. Yet until every Filipino child is born to a family free of poverty, we cannot rest, " she said.

She thanked the people for giving her the honor and privilege of serving them.

"To all of you, whom I served along this difficult but historic path, thank you very, very much," she said.

The president reported on her nine-year presidency marked by tough but necessary choices such as raising taxes to generate "new money" for more better health care and education and "new and better roads, bridges, ports, and a technology backbone to attract new businesses and investors to create new jobs."

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