Philippine Opposition Insists That Troubled President Quit

MANILA, Philippines -- Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo remained in deep trouble on Thursday as her opponents planned street protests to step up calls for her to quit and speculation swirled she would sack several ministers.

Her admission of an error in judgment during last year's elections and the exile of her scandal-prone husband from the country seemed to have done little to appease the opposition.

Arroyo, facing possibly the worst crisis of her four-year presidency, has admitted talking to an election official during vote-counting for last year's national poll and then, on Wednesday, said her husband, Jose Miguel, would leave the country.

Analysts said she was trying to ease pressure on her administration from an opposition that has produced recordings that it says prove she cheated her way to election victory.

Newspapers said Arroyo's admission of an error and sending her husband overseas raised as many questions as answers and appeared unlikely to win her much respite.

"Support for the president is eroding as quickly as her credibility," the Philippine Daily Inquirer said in an editorial. "Unfortunately for her, it seems that the court of public opinion is about ready to pronounce her guilty of stealing the presidency."

The newspaper said that by admitting she spoke to an official but not that it was her voice on the recording, Arroyo had not "set the record straight" and had encouraged the opposition.