Estrada says Arroyo should be punished
“She committed a crime against the people. She should be punished for it.”
These strong words came from former President Joseph Estrada who accused his successor, now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, of masterminding alleged cheating during the 2004 presidential election.
In 2004, Arroyo ran against and won over late actor Fernando Poe Jr., Estrada’s best friend.
“I’m sad because I know that FPJ’s (Poe) disappointment over his loss to Arroyo affected his health and eventually led to his death,” said Estrada in a phone interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer Tuesday.
Poe died following a stroke on Dec. 14, 2004, seven months after Arroyo was proclaimed president.
Allegations that she ordered massive cheating during the 2004 and 2007 elections were made against Arroyo by suspended ARMM Governor Zaldy Ampatuan and dismissed Maguindanao election supervisor Lintang Bedol.
Recently, a group of policemen led by Senior Superintendent Rafael Santiago Jr. apologized to the Filipino people and Poe’s widow, Susan Roces, for their participation in an alleged cheating operation aimed at ensuring Arroyo’s victory in 2004.
Estrada, Roces and Poe’s daughter, Grace Poe-Llamanzares, will commemorate FPJ’s seventh death anniversary Wednesday with a 9 a.m. Mass at Manila North Cemetery.
“I consider it a thanksgiving Mass because soon FPJ will be vindicated,” said Estrada. “It will only be a matter of time until we finally celebrate his victory. I’m confident the result of any investigation will be to our favor.”