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Thousands Rally in Support of Philippines President Arroyo


Thousands of people rallied today-Saturday in the Philippine capital of Manila to show support for President Gloria Arroyo, who is being pressured to resign over allegations of election rigging.

Police estimated the crowd at 50, 000 people, well short of the organizers' goal of 200,000. Manila Mayor Lito Atienza called the rally a prayer gathering to solve a national problem.

A similar rally calling for Mrs. Arroyo's resignation was held on Wednesday, with about 40,000 people gathering in Manila's financial district.

An anti-Arroyo demonstration turned violent Friday when about 300 people stormed the Agriculture Ministry and put up banners calling for the president's resignation.

Mrs. Arroyo has rejected a chorus of calls for her to resign, including pleas from former Presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos.

Information for this report is provided by AP nad AFP.

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