Arroyo looks to hire 'crime-buster' Giuliani
MANILA, Philippines -- Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has suggested she may look at seeking the services of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to clean up a crime wave sweeping Manila.
A statement from the presidential palace in the Philippine capital released Monday said Arroyo first raised the idea of hiring the former mayor during a visit to New York at the weekend.
It said she had proposed hiring him as an "adviser on peace and order."
The statement was confirmed by presidential Press Secretary Noel Cabrera who told reporters the president was "open to the idea" noting that she had been "impressed by the performance of the former New York mayor."
Giuliani, who retired at the end of last year after eight years in office, is widely credited with turning around New York City's crime figures -- transforming the city from one of America's most dangerous to one of its safest.
Following his widely praised leadership during and after the September 11 attacks he was named Time Magazine's Man of the Year.
Arroyo, who has been in office for just over a year, has been coming under growing criticism from the media and opposition groups for failing to stem a rising tide of crime in the Philippine capital.
Recent reports have shown the number of kidnaps for ransom soarning, with damaging implications for investment and the country's already battered economy.
However, suggestions that the Philippine leader might seek Giuliani's help have aroused a storm of criticism.
In the Philippine senate, lawmakers from both the opposition and the ruling coalition said any such move would be a national embarrassment.
"That would be an insult to the ability and expertise of our people," pro-administration Sen. Robert Barbers told Reuters, adding: "And can we afford his fee?"
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