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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:53, July 07, 2005
British embassy denies interfering Philippines' domestic affairs
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British embassy in Manila has denied speculations that the anti-Arroyo bloc is asking Britain to back their call for a change in the government.

British Ambassador to Manila Peter Beckingham made the remark Wednesday at a press conference following reports that he met a number of times with opposition lawmakers from the Senate and Congress, among them House minority floor leader and opposition spokesman Francis Escudero.

"It's a role for a diplomat to do that and the government understands. I had a meeting recently with opposition congressmen and senators certainly not supporting the government. It's not conspiracy talking to members of the opposition," the ambassador said.

Beckingham explained that what took place were merely " consultations "and that it is only normal to "get in touch with the opposition" as part of a diplomat's job.

He also stressed that Britain has no business interfering in the domestic affairs of the Philippines.

"That's a normal process. There's no conspiracy about it and we 're pretty open about it," he said.

At the same time, Beckingham noted that Britain is against the use of violence and unconstitutional means as measures to bring about change in the government.

"We'd not likely go outside the constitutional process and we don't talk to people like rebel movements and terrorist groups," he said as calls mount for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's resignation over her alleged involvement in vote fraud and talks of an impending military coup by disgruntled members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Beckingham said the British government still believe that President Arroyo and her economic team are strong. "We have total confidence in the economy that it is going the right direction and nothing will blow off that direction," he said.

Source: Xinhua


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