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Arroyo pats her own back as her term ends

June 12, 2010 at 7:19 PM

MANILA, Philippines, June 12 (UPI) -- Gloria Arroyo said Saturday she is handing over a "new Philippines" to her successor as she celebrated Independence Day for the last time as president.

A parade in Manila included 11 floats celebrating Arroyo's achievements as president, The Manila Times reported.

"We will leave a legacy of hard work, a strong and stable economy and renewed global engagement, major investments in healthcare, education and physical infrastructure," she said. "I know much work remains to be done, but I am determined to turn over to a new government a new Philippines, one that is ready for the challenges of bringing the nation to the verge of first world in 20 years.'

Her successor, Benigno S. Aquino III, takes a somewhat darker view of the country's condition. Aquino, son of former President Corazon Aquino and her assassinated husband, is to be inaugurated June 30. He points to a $95.8 billion budget deficit and other problems.

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