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Philippine Agriculture Minister Resigns

Philippines Agriculture Minister Arthur Yap has resigned amid allegations of tax fraud.

Mr. Yap, a key aide to embattled President Gloria Arroyo, said Thursday he decided to quit because he did not want a tax fraud investigation to damage Ms. Arroyo's troubled government.

Mr. Yap admitted no wrongdoing, but said any investigation would render him ineffective as a cabinet member. He said he will stay on until his replacement is found.

Ms. Arroyo, who has made fighting corruption a cornerstone of her presidency, is trying to win back public trust in the face of allegations that she rigged last year's national election and that her relatives took kickbacks from illegal gambling.

Wednesday the president said her husband will leave the country in order to reduce the pressure on her administration.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.