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Poll: Most say Arroyo should go

CNN/Time survey shows vote of no confidence

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MANILA, Philippines (CNN) -- A majority of people surveyed this month say Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo should not complete her presidential term, according to a new CNN/Time poll.

Additionally, the survey found that opposition to the Philippine leader fell and rose along age lines.

Of the 600 people surveyed in the poll, conducted by TNS during the past week, 57.5 percent said Arroyo should quit.

The poll was taken July 2-5, and had a margin of error of 4.1 percent. TNS is a London-based international polling company.

The results come as Arroyo faces mounting pressure to step down, following allegations of cheating in the 2004 presidential election.

She is accused of talking to an election official about ensuring a million-vote victory in the vote. Arroyo won re-election in 2004.

She won a reprieve of sorts on Sunday, when a group of influential Roman Catholic bishops declined to demand her resignation, saying no single option could be deemed "morally correct."

In the CNN/Time poll, people were asked, "Do you think President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo should or should not complete her six-year presidential term?"

Of the poll's respondents, 37.7 percent of those surveyed said they believed she should complete her term. A further 4.7 percent of people did not know.

Calls for her resignation fell along age lines in the CNN/Time. Among the poll's findings:

  • 62 percent of those asked who were between 18-24 said she should not complete her term;
  • Nearly 63 percent of respondents aged 25-34 said Arroyo should not complete her term;
  • Approximately 61 percent of respondents aged 35-44 said Arroyo should not complete her term;
  • Nearly 54 percent of respondents aged 45-54 said she should step down;
  • And, 41.5 percent of respondents 65 and older said Arroyo should not finish her term.
  • Eight Philippine Cabinet members stepped down Friday and urged Arroyo to step down, saying she has been crippled by an election scandal and has lost the ability to lead. (Full story)

    The men who comprise the base of Arroyo's economic team -- including Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Budget Secretary Emilia Boncodin and Trade Secretary Juan Santos -- were among those who resigned.

    "It is simply the truth that the political system that I am part of has degenerated to the point that it needs fundamental change," Arroyo said earlier this week. (Full story)

    "This is neither a political ploy nor a gimmick. I believe that this process will quickly lay the foundation for deep reforms in our society."

    Meanwhile, Vice President Noli de Castro, a former TV news anchor with relatively little political experience, could be pushed into the presidency if Arroyo bows to mounting calls for her to step down.

    The political newcomer has been careful to show himself as the loyal lieutenant, even as other cabinet members and political allies desert Arroyo's listing ship, Reuters reported.

    Some of Arroyo's sacked cabinet members, including her key economic managers, have urged her to step down and hand over power to de Castro, the constitutional successor.

    Arroyo's second term is due to run until 2010.

    Influential Roman Catholic bishops on Sunday rejected calls for Arroyo to step down, handing her a major reprieve, Reuters news agency reported.

    No single option regarding Arroyo could claim to be morally correct, Fernando Capalla, outgoing president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said on Sunday, reading a statement by the bishops.

    "Therefore, we declare our prayerfully discerned collective decision that we do not demand her resignation. Yet neither do we encourage her simply to dismiss such a call from others," the bishops said.

    "For we recognize that non-violent appeals for her resignation, the demand for a truth commission and the filing of an impeachment case are not against the Gospel."

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