MANILA (Mabuhay) — Senator Grace Poe will revisit in a privilege speech on Wednesday the controversial 2004 polls, which her late father, actor Fernando Poe Jr., lost to then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
In a text message on Monday, Senator Poe said she will recount in her speech the “highlights of fraud” during the 2004 presidential elections.
“It’s the 10th year anniversary of the May 2004 elections. We need to evaluate if our electoral system has improved and to institutionalize reforms to insure against electoral fraud,” the lawmaker said.
She added that she will give an update on the status of the individuals allegedly involved in the supposed rigging of the national polls a decade ago.
A bill will also be proposed to “strengthen a reliable electoral system in the country,” Senator Poe said.
The senator’s late father, a popular action star, ran for president during the 2004 polls, but was defeated by Mrs. Arroyo. He garnered 11,782,232 votes against Mrs. Arroyo’s 12,905,808 votes.
After his defeat, the actor’s camp questioned the election results before the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
The high court, however, dismissed the electoral protest in 2005 following Fernando Poe Jr.’s death.
Also in 2005, Mrs. Arroyo admitted to calling then elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano at the height of the 2004 elections.
In the conversation contained in the so-called “Hello Garci” tapes, Mrs. Arroyo was alleged to have directed Garcillano to ensure that she will have a lead of a million votes over the late Fernando Poe Jr.
Mrs. Arroyo is currently facing an electoral sabotage case for her supposed hand in the alleged rigging of the 2007 senatorial polls. She has pleaded not guilty to this case and has since been granted bail.
At present, Mrs. Arroyo is on hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City over a separate plunder case involving the alleged misuse of PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office) funds. (MNS)