Escudero seeks probe on alleged fraud in ’04 presidential polls
MANILA, Philippines—The result of the 2004 presidential election should be investigated so history can be corrected, Senator Francis Escudero said Friday.
Escudero said that with the resurrected allegations of fraud in the 2007 elections, he was preparing to file a resolution seeking the creation of a fact-finding body that would look into who actually won the 2004 presidential polls.
“We just want to set the record straight,” Escudero told reporters in Baguio City, where he was a guest at Friday’s Cordillera Day celebration. He said the resolution would be jointly sponsored by other senators whom he did not name.
But he said there would be “no case” against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was compelled by public outrage to apologize for phoning then elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, who is believed responsible for the purported poll fraud that resulted in Arroyo’s victory.
“We are doing this not because we are after [Arroyo]. We just want to know who won, so we can correct history,” he said.
Should the fact-finding body confirm that Arroyo had cheated in the 2004 presidential race, Poe could be posthumously declared as the winner of that contest, Escudero said.
He said all of Arroyo’s directives and programs, which she issued and implemented after the 2004 elections, would not be nullified even if the body would conclude that she had cheated.
Ronald Llamas, presidential adviser on political affairs, said the government needs to unravel more details about electoral fraud in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Llamas, who also attended the Cordillera Day celebration here, said the Commission on Audit was able to confirm that 70 percent of funds allocated to ARMM had not benefited the region.
Further checks may reveal that the misappropriated funds there could reach 90 percent of the allocations, he said.
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