Legarda: The ‘Ghosts’ of 2004 Elections are Haunting Us AgainAugust 1, 2011
SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA HAS SPOKEN IN THE LIGHT OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS WHERE SEVERAL PERSONALITIES HAVE COME OUT IN THE OPEN TO TELL ALL ABOUT THE COMMISSION OF ELECTORAL FRAUD, PARTICULARLY THE SWITCHING OF CONGRESSIONAL COPIES OF THE ELECTION RETURNS (ERS) IN THE 2004 PRESIDENTIAL AND VICE-PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS.
Loren said: “The ghosts of the 2004 elections are once again haunting us because there was no absolute closure in the protest I filed before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).”
Loren was referring to the ruling of the PET dismissing her case on account of mere technicalities –her candidacy for election and assumption of the Office Senator of the Philippines in 2007, and her failure to deposit the P3.9 million required to continue the revision of ballots.
It can be recalled that after actor Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ), presidential candidate of Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP) and Legarda’s running mate, died on December 14, 2004, shortly after the elections, Legarda single-handedly continued with her election protest before the PET which dragged on for more than three years until it was dismissed after she ran and won as Senator in 2007.
“This is something I fought for from 2004 to 2007, three long painful years. I and my lawyers presented our own pieces of evidence. The truth has been staring us in the face since 2004. The fraud is clear,” Loren said. She cited the November 2006 sworn testimony of Roberto Payongayong of Ernest Printing, the official Comelec printer of election returns, who testified before the PET and categorically stated that Congress’ copies of election returns (ERs) were fake.
“Even if I was sure that FPJ and I were the real winners in that election, as evidenced by the election returns that we presented, my lawyers and I could not do anything with the very tedious process of an electoral protest before the PET,” said Loren, resenting the harsh reality that even if she was then advancing the true will of the electorate, she was ridiculed as ambitious and a sore loser.
In truth, Loren was pursuing a rather lonely crusade against an illegitimate government. “Paano ka makakapag-silbi ng tapat sa taong bayan bilang Presidente o Bise-Presidente kung ang ginagamit mong basehan sa iyong Pag-proklama ay mga pekeng ER. Para mong sinabing college graduate ka ngunit ang diploma mo ay peke,” said Loren.
Loren concluded: “Karapatan ng bawa’t Pilipino na malaman ang katotohanan noong 2004 elections at kailangang mabigyang linaw ang mga pangyayari upang maiwasan natin ito sa mga susunod na eleksyon.”