PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has prioritized job creation and meeting with potential foreign investors in the country over giving a speech to the new Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) graduates.

Deputy Presidential Spokesman Charito Planas said the delegates of the Tahuna Exploratory Mission from Indonesia were in Saranggani Thursday and it’s the only time that Arroyo could meet them.

According to her, Arroyo was already in Mindanao to inspect the status of other project and programs implemented in the area and just took advantage of the situation to further entice foreign business groups to invest in the country.

“Nagkatapat na iyung graduation ay meron tayong 164 delegates of Tahuna of the Republic of Indonesia sa Saranggani, so she has to attend to this. Which is important, to deliver a speech or to follow up an investor who is coming in to give more jobs? So she established priority,” she said.

“Ang priority niya ay rebisahin niya ang kanyang mga iiwanan na sana ipagpatuloy iyung mga hindi niya natapos maipagpatuloy, tapos yung natapos ma-maintain at yung hindi pa tapos ay pinatatapos niya kaagad,” she added.

Arroyo after the meeting also attended the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on "Forging Alliances with the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao for Nutrition and Hunger-Mitigation" and visited the Lumbatan town, both in Lanao del Sur.

She likewise visited the new town of Ramon Magsaysay in Zamboanga Del Sur including the town's Ramon Magsaysay High School and Ramon Magsaysay Public Market.

Planas said President Arroyo has been going around the country to determine which projects are still needed to be done, which could be sustained or continued by the next government.

The Palace official denied that the President purposely snubbed the PNPA graduation in Silang in Cavite to get back at PNP Chief Jesus Verzosa for his earlier pronouncement that he would not support moves to prolong Arroyo's stay in office, even if the military interferes and support her.

Planas said it is pure speculation that Arroyo was irked with Verzosa or that she intends to stay beyond her term.

The President is serving a six-year term, which would end on June 30, similar to the six-year term that her successor would also serve.

Some people, added Planas, are only fueling such speculation to get media mileage.

She said instead of dwelling on the negative, people should look at the positive side like the potential investments and the solution to the job problems. (JMR/Sunnex)