Philippine general election, 2004

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  Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Davos.jpg Talaksan:FernandoPoeJr.jpg
Nominee Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Fernando Poe, Jr.
Party Koalisyon ng Katapatan at Karanasan sa Kinabukasan KNP
Running mate Noli de Castro Loren Legarda
Popular vote 12,905,808 11,782,232
Percentage 39.99% 36.51%

Ph elections president 2004.png
The colors indicate provinces where a candidate gathered the majority of votes: Blue for Arroyo, Red for Poe, Green for Lacson, and Gold for Roco. Villanueva was unable to secure a majority in any of the provinces.

President before election

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Elected President

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Ang artikulong ito ay bahagi ng seryeng:
Politika at pamahalaan ng

Presidential elections, legislative elections and local elections were held in the Philippines on May 10, 2004. In the presidential election, incumbent president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo successfully won a full six-year term as President, with a margin of just over one million votes over her leading opponent, highly popular movie actor Fernando Poe, Jr..

The elections were notable for several reasons. This election first saw the implementation of the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003 (see Wikisource), which enabled Filipinos in over 70 countries to vote. This is also the first election since the 1986 People Power Revolution where an incumbent President ran for re-election. Under the 1987 Constitution, an elected president cannot run for another term. However, Arroyo was not elected president, but instead succeeded ousted President Joseph Estrada, who was impeached with charges of plunder and corruption in 2000, (later he was convicted on plunder charge but he was received a pardon from Arroyo).

Moreover, this was the first time since 1986 that both the winning president and vice president were under the same party/coalition. This election was also held at a period in modern Philippines marked by serious political polarization. This resulted in lesser candidates for the Presidential and Vice Presidential elections compared to the 1992 and 1998 elections.


The political climate leading up to the 2004 elections was one of the most emotional in the country's history since the 1986 elections that resulted in the exile of Ferdinand Marcos. Philippine society has become polarized between the followers of former president Joseph Estrada who have thrown their support for Estrada's close associate Fernando Poe, Jr. and those who support incumbent Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, or at best oppose Estrada.

The several months leading to the May elections saw several presidential scandals, Arroyo reversing her earlier decision not to run for president, the sudden but not unexpected candidacy of Fernando Poe, Jr., defection of key political figures from the Arroyo camp to the opposition, the controversial automated elections initiative of the COMELEC, and the split of the dominant opposition party, Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, between Poe and Panfilo Lacson.

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's candidacyBaguhin

On a speech given on Rizal Day, December 30, 2002, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared that she would not run in the 2004 elections. Arroyo claimed that withdrawing from the race would relieve her of the burden of politics and allow her administration to devote the last year and half to the following:

First, strengthening the economy to create more jobs and to encourage business activities that are unhampered by corruption and red tape in government.

Second, healing the deep divisions within Philippine society.

Third, working for clean and honest elections in 2004.

This was hailed as a welcome development by many people, especially those in the business and economic sectors.

Nine months later, on October 4, 2003, Arroyo completely changed her mind. Arroyo stated that her change of heart was for a higher cause and that she cannot ignore the call to further serve the country. Many people, especially those who held on to her commitment, were dismayed by her turnabout, though most were unsurprised since there had been clues months before that she would probably not stand by her earlier decision. Others welcomed this development, saying that she needs more time to implement her projects, and that she would be the strongest contender against a likely candidacy by Fernando Poe, Jr.

Fernando Poe, Jr.'s candidacyBaguhin

Months before the elections, members of the opposition have been encouraging Fernando Poe, Jr., a close friend of former president Joseph Estrada to run for president. Poe was very popular with the masses and it was widely believed that he would be a sure winner if he ran for president.

On November 27, 2003, Poe ended months of speculation by announcing that he will run for president during a press conference held at the Manila Hotel.

However, on January 9, 2004, Victorino X. Fornier (a private citizen) filed a case against Poe and the COMELEC, saying that Poe wasn't eligible to run for he is not a natural-born Filipino before the COMELEC. On the 23rd of January, the COMELEC dismissed the petition for lack of merit. On February 10, Fornier finally filed the case to the Supreme Court, seeking Poe to be disqualified from the race. His case was later merged with cases filed by Maria Jeanette C. Tecson, and Felix B. Desiderio, Jr., and by Zoilo Antonio G. Velez.

Death of Lawyer Maria Jeanette Tecson

On September 28, 2007, 8:30 p.m, Senior Superintendent Francisco Uyami, Pasig police chief stated that Lawyer Maria Tecson, 40, was found dead (in a state of rigor mortis) inside room 204 at the Richmond Hotel, San Miguel Avenue, Pasig City (with her throat slit and with cuts on her wrist).[1] Maria Jeanette Tecson, Zoilo Velez (promoted to Court of Appeals Justice) and Victorino Fornier filed the disqualification case against Fernando Poe, Jr. She claimed Poe was born out of wedlock and that while Poe's birth certificate was dated 1939, his parents Allan Poe and American mother Bessie Kelly did not marry until 1940.[2]

On March 3, the Supreme Court, said in its decision, that for lack of jurisdiction and prematurity, and ruling that Poe's father, Allan F. Poe would have been a Filipino citizen by virtue of the en masse Filipinization enacted by the Philippine Bill of 1902. Also, even if Poe wasn't a natural-born Filipino citizen, he cannot be held guilty of having made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy.

See also: The Supreme Court's decision.

Eddie Gil's candidacyBaguhin

The Commission on Elections originally affirmed the candidacies of six people for the president. The sixth person running for president was Eduardo "Eddie" Gil, a known Marcos loyalist. The party of Eduardo Villanueva filed a petition with the COMELEC seeking to disqualify Eddie Gil on the basis of him being a nuisance candidate, his incapacity to mount a nationwide campaign, and that because he was running with the aim to confuse voters because of their similar names.

Eddie Gil claims to be an international banker having a net worth of billions of dollars. His platform for presidency promised to make every Filipino a millionaire within his first 100 days of being elected. He also promised to pay off the Philippines' debt, worth trillions of pesos, from his own pocket. This was widely ridiculed, especially after a recent incident in which a check he had issued to pay his hotel bills during a campaign sortie, bounced.

The LDP splitBaguhin

The Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino party (LDP) would form the core of the main opposition party, the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP). However, members of the party disagreed on which person to support for president. Panfilo Lacson, a member of the party, advanced his candidacy for president but was not considered by Edgardo Angara, the president of the party. Angara supported Fernando Poe, Jr. Together with the party's secretary-general Agapito "Butz" Aquino, Lacson gathered the support of some members of the party and went ahead with his candidacy. The LDP was subsequently polarized between those supporting Angara and Poe, and those for Lacson and Aquino.

By then, Poe and Lacson have both filed their certificates of candidacies. According to the rules of candidacy, every presidential candidate must have a political party to back him or her. With the obvious split within the ranks of the LDP, and with no signs that the two factions would come to an agreement, the COMELEC decided to informally split the party into the Aquino and the Angara wings. Lacson then ran under the LDP - Aquino Wing, and Poe under the LDP - Angara Wing, which would later become the KNP.

During the campaign period, there had been numerous unification talks between the two factions. The opposition saw the need to become united under one banner to boost their chances of winning the presidential election against the organized political machinery of Arroyo. The plans of unification did not materialize due to the stubbornness of both Poe and Lacson. Lacson wanted Poe to concede to him and run as his vice-presidential candidate while the supporters of Poe wanted Lacson to back out from his candidacy and instead support Poe, citing his low performance in the surveys.

COMELEC's move for an automated electionsBaguhin

Elections in the Philippines have always been a manual process with the results for national positions often being announced more than a month after election day. An attempt to rectify this was done by the Commission on Elections by automating the process of counting the votes. More than 30 billion pesos were spent in acquiring counting machines that were never used in this elections because of numerous controversies and political opposition.



  • December 30 - President Arroyo declares that she will not run for President in 2004.


  • October 4 - President Arroyo announces her intention to run for President.
  • November 26 - Fernando Poe, Jr. declares his intention to run for President.
  • December 29 - Raul Roco, together with Herminio Aquino filed their candidacies for the position of President and Vice President. Senator Panfilo Lacson filed his candidacy as President without a running mate.
  • December 30 - Fernando, Poe, Jr. together with running mate Senator Loren Legarda filed their candidacies for the position of President and Vice President.


  • January 5 - President Gloria Arroyo and Senator Noli de Castro filed their candidacies for the position of President and Vice President.
  • January 13 - The Supreme Court nullified a contract for the computerization of the ballot-counting process, effectively forcing the Commission on Elections to revert to the manual counting of votes.
  • February 10 - Start of the official campaign period for national positions
  • March 3 - Poe was deemed as a natural born Filipino by the Supreme Court, thereby blocking any legal obstacles for his candidacy.
  • March 25 - Start of the official campaign period for local positions
  • May 10 - Election day
  • May 10 - NAMFREL starts its quickcount tally.
  • May 14 - Panfilo Lacson resigns from his party, the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP).
  • May 14 - Grenade explodes at the General Santos City Hall where canvassing was taking place. No one was hurt.
  • May 17 - Opposition groups stage protest at the PICC, site of the official COMELEC canvass for senators and party-list representatives.
  • May 17 - Raul Roco concedes to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
  • May 19 - Fernando Poe, Jr., proclaims himself winner in Zamboanga City.
  • May 25 - COMELEC proclaims the top 11 senators in its official canvass.
  • May 28 - Congress approves the rules for the canvassing of the Certificates of Canvass for the Presidential and Vice-Presidential positions.
  • June 2 - The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines issued a statement saying that the elections were generally peaceful and that there was no sign of massive electoral fraud on a nationwide scale.
  • June 3 - The 12th senator, Rodolfo Biazon, was proclaimed by the COMELEC.
  • June 4 - Congress, through the Joint Committee, starts canvassing the votes for the President and Vice-president.
  • June 8 - Supreme Court votes 14-0 against the KNP petition to declare the Congressional Joint Committee as the National Board of Canvassers unconstitutional.
  • June 20 - The Congressional Joint Committee finishes the canvassing of votes for the President and Vice-president; Arroyo is declared the winner.
  • June 24 - The Congress approves the report of the Joint Committee officially proclaiming Arroyo the winner.
  • June 30 - Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is inaugurated in Cebu City.

Parties and coalitions

This election has seen strong shifts of alliances and new parties as candidates switched allegiances. The two major coalitions seen in this elections were the K-4 (Koalisyon ng Katapatan at Karanasan sa Kinabukasan), of the administration, and the KNP (Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino), the united opposition.

Koalisyon ng Katapatan at Karanasan sa Kinabukasan (K-4)Baguhin

The Koalisyon ng Katapatan at Karanasan sa Kinabukasan (Coalition of Truth and Experience for Tomorrow) or K-4, is the remnant of the People Power Coalition that was formed following the ascendancy of president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to power. Arroyo is seeking a complete term under this coalition with Sen. Noli de Castro, an independent, yet popular, politician, as her running mate. The leading party in this coalition is the ruling Lakas-CMD, of which Arroyo is a member. Other parties under this coalition are the Liberal Party, the Nacionalista Party, the Nationalist People's Coalition and the People's Reform Party.

Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP)Baguhin

The Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (Coalition of United Filipinos), or KNP, is the coalition of the united opposition. Its standard bearers are Fernando Poe, Jr. for president and Sen. Loren Legarda for vice-president. The leading parties of this coalition is the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP-Angara Wing), the PDP-Laban and the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino. the LDP split is caused by stubbornness between FPJ and Ping Lacson. especially with the support of the former president Joseph Estrada and former first lady Imelda Marcos. The other major party under this coalition is Estrada's Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP, Party of the Filipino Masses).

Alyansa ng Pag-asaBaguhin

The third major coalition running in this election is the Alyansa ng Pag-asa (Alliance of Hope), This coalition fielded Raul Roco for president and Herminio Aquino for vice-president. The three major parties supporting this coalition are Roco's Aksyon Demokratiko (Democratic Action), former Defense Sec. Renato de Villa's Reporma Party, and Lito Osmeña's Promdi (Probinsya Muna [Provinces First] Development Party). The three parties were the ones that bolted out of the People Power Coalition.

Bangon Pilipinas Movement (BPM)Baguhin

The Bangon Pilipinas (Rise up, Philippines) Movement is the political party of Bro. Eddie Villanueva. It consists mostly of volunteers, a majority of whom came from Villanueva's Jesus Is Lord church (Villanueva resigned from the church before submitting his candidacy, to prevent questions on separation of church and state).

Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) (Aquino Wing)Baguhin

This was composed of Panfilo Lacson's supporters in the LDP Party.

Partido Isang Bansa, Isang DiwaBaguhin

This was Eddie Gil's organization. Gil was deemed a nuisance candidate and was disqualified from the presidential race, however, the party qualified for other positions.

Election resultsBaguhin

The official results of the election were released in staggered dates with most winners in local elective positions declared within two weeks from the May 10 election date. The winners in the Senatorial and Party-list Representative elections were declared on May 24, with the exception of the 12th senator which was announced on June 3. The results of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential races were finalized by the Congress on June 20, more than a month after the elections. Out of the 43,536,028 registered voters, about 35.4 million ballots were cast giving a voter turn-out of 81.4%.

Shown below are the official tallies of the Presidential, Vice-Presidential, and Senatorial races as well as the last tallies of the Quickcount conducted by the National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), the citizens' arm of the COMELEC.


Final Official Congressional Canvass Padron:Philippine presidential election, 2004 NAMFREL Quickcount
(Partial and Unofficial)

Candidate Party Votes %
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo K4 11,272,388 39.4%
Fernando Poe, Jr. KNP 10,456,243 36.6%
Panfilo Lacson Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino(Agapito Aquino Wing) 3,140,494 11.0%
Raul Roco Aksyon Demokratiko 1,942,921 6.8%
Eduardo Villanueva Bangon Pilipinas Movement 1,782,547 6.2%
Total: 28,594,593 100.0%


Percentages per province.
Population per province.

Based on the official canvass of the Congress of the Philippines

Province Arroyo Poe Lacson Roco Villanueva
Abra 32,644 50,866 11,256 2,251 3,741
Agusan del Norte 138,402 66,125 12,585 7,152 18,680
Agusan del Sur 100,998 61,949 10,905 4,643 15,649
Aklan 87,197 84,080 11,247 8,830 10,158
Albay 172,777 74,711 23,079 197,345 11,802
Antique 92,992 63,650 10,586 12,024 9,260
Apayao 15,018 15,789 4,195 787 2,992
Aurora 16,755 42,282 7,492 1,911 4,754
Basilan 79,702 48,685 4,796 2,290 824
Bataan 65,955 171,070 28,646 12,447 16,970
Batanes 4,198 2,166 442 426 197
Batangas 264,007 377,915 141,122 46,520 66,540
    •  Baguio City
Biliran 27,865 27,133 2,909 1,771 3,675
Bohol 337,336 94,380 17,175 26,660 20,166
Bukidnon 191,409 149,987 24,333 11,107 28,003
Bulacan 237,080 505,164 131,759 69,139 106,065
Cagayan 142,653 166,209 49,141 11,065 17,953
Camarines Norte 46,641 70,566 13,240 37,846 6,462
Camarines Sur 117,427 89,080 16,894 351,868 13,979
Camiguin 21,760 15,093 1,959 1,058 1,606
Capiz 149,832 86,023 12,040 12,828 13,129
Catanduanes 17,358 39,342 4,657 32,635 4,399
Cavite 183,719 239,749 347,539 46,925 76,213
    •  Cebu City
Compostela Valley 94,867 80,544 17,673 5,911 14,935
Cotabato 131,749 171,950 72,417 9,115 19,037
Davao del Norte 131,537 133,018 32,253 8,391 15,658
Davao del Sur
    •  Davao City
Davao Oriental 82,098 67,006 7,607 3,964 10,581
Eastern Samar 75,049 73,439 6,377 3,779 7,232
Guimaras 44,987 6,528 2,215 4,011 2,814
Ifugao 29,404 13,941 10,023 2,283 13,558
Ilocos Norte 42,488 104,695 80,077 4,941 15,091
Ilocos Sur 140,736 76,040 41,524 10,493 12,570
    •  Iloilo City
Isabela 153,791 250,988 74,992 12,491 23,712
Kalinga 33,261 18,461 12,688 3,110 11,769
La Union 56,902 169,415 53,595 9,771 15,194
Laguna 195,340 477,630 121,600 68,296 87,757
Lanao del Norte 130,485 137,597 25,308 8,667 12,520
Lanao del Sur 158,748 50,107 9,987 11,156 2,012
Leyte 332,715 250,831 43,755 24,167 21,407
    •  Cotabato City
Marinduque 24,676 43,861 13,242 3,240 4,730
Masbate 112,711 94,741 6,139 25,452 12,896
Metro Manila
    •  Caloocan City
    •  Las Piñas City
    •  Makati City
    •  Malabon-Navotas
    •  Mandaluyong City
    •  Manila
    •  Marikina
    •  Muntinlupa City
    •  Parañaque City
    •  Pasay City
    •  Pasig City
    •  Quezon City
    •  San Juan
    •  Taguig-Pateros
    •  Valenzuela City





Misamis Occidental 125,300 69,481 8,566 6,714 15,882
Misamis Oriental
    •  Cagayan de Oro City
Mountain Province 24,919 11,564 9,765 4,416 9,378
Negros Occidental
    •  Bacolod City
Negros Oriental 260,291 119,588 12,134 11,686 23,829
Northern Samar 57,306 122,485 7,837 3,490 6,807
Nueva Ecija 160,438 476,220 90,426 20,710 34,696
Nueva Vizcaya 40,721 57,151 35,670 4,726 12,103
Occidental Mindoro 34,267 78,668 15,670 4,302 9,270
Oriental Mindoro 81,691 124,258 26,188 9,075 21,987
Palawan 54,645 185,538 18,557 12,847 19,932
Pampanga 642,712 84,720 19,881 16,173 35,779
Pangasinan 445,230 487,463 62,397 30,770 52,474
Quezon 170,853 336,488 69,261 33,747 35,475
Quirino 21,185 24,574 6,746 1,896 6,077
Rizal 156,356 324,703 106,063 52,203 61,043
Romblon 41,562 45,909 8,649 2,611 9,645
Samar 84,754 167,974 11,441 4,909 8,967
Sarangani 46,893 66,718 17,258 3,461 8,231
Siquijor 27,629 10,174 1,773 981 1,715
Sorsogon 73,724 97,040 10,277 87,025 8,119
South Cotabato 91,508 188,143 105,410 15,423 29,912
Southern Leyte 125,096 28,138 6,258 3,365 5,824
Sultan Kudarat 126,622 40,714 60,189 3,214 6,029
Sulu 78,429 60,807 5,095 1,903 418
Surigao del Norte 123,986 70,440 17,158 3,179 12,030
Surigao del Sur 114,075 68,192 10,481 4,863 16,924
Tarlac 210,171 166,248 40,833 17,847 29,461
Tawi-Tawi 33,634 49,803 2,379 1,383 321
Zambales 75,085 146,974 34,540 12,846 14,669
Zamboanga del Norte 207,175 107,330 8,750 11,086 13,467
Zamboanga del Sur
    •  Zamboanga City
Zamboanga Sibugay 65,836 95,677 3,913 2,707 14,077
Absentee voters 106,058 46,254 29,254 26,355 27,635
Total 12,905,808 11,782,232 3,510,080 2,082,762 1,988,218


Final Official Congressional Canvass Padron:Philippine Vice Presidential election, 2004

NAMFREL Quickcount
(Partial and Unofficial)

Candidate Party Votes %
Noli de Castro K4 13,342,530 49.6%
Loren Legarda KNP 12,505,777 46.5%
Herminio Aquino Aksyon Demokratiko /
Alyansa ng Pag-Asa
920,316 3.4%
Rodolfo Pajo Partido Isang Bansa Isang Diwa 22,244 0.1%
Total: 26,908,172 100.00%

PET Case No. 003, Legarda v. De Castro, January 18, 2008Baguhin

On January 18, 2008, in a 21-page resolution, penned by Senior Justice Leonardo Quisumbing, the Supreme Court of the Philippines, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), dismissed Sen. Loren Legarda's electoral protest against Noli de Castro. 3 reasons supported the judgment: first, the PET approved the recommendation of Hearing Commissioner and former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair retired SC Justice Bernardo P. Pardo that “the pilot-tested revision of ballots or re-tabulation of the certificates of canvass would not affect the winning margin of the protestee in the final canvass of the returns, in addition to the ground of abandonment or withdrawal by reason of Protestant’s candidacy for, election and assumption of the office Senator of the Philippines;” second, Legarda’s failure to pay the P 3.9 million ($ 1 = P 40) revision of ballots (in 124,404 precincts) fee despite court extension under Rule 33 of the PET; and third, jurisprudence of Defensor Santiago v. Ramos, teaches that Legarda "effectively abandoned or withdrawn her protest when she ran in the Senate, which term coincides with the term of the Vice-Presidency 2004-2010." Meanwhile, Noli De Castro on television stated: "This is the triumph of truth. The truth that I won fair and square. I thank the Supreme Court for echoing the true voice of the people. From the very beginning I was confident that I received the overwhelming mandate of our people as Vice President." Legarda stated that she will file a motion for reconsideration in due course.[3][4]

Legislative and local electionsBaguhin

In the legislative elections, voters elected twelve Senators (half the members of the Senate), who are elected at large with the whole country voting as one constituency, and all 208 members of the House of Representatives, who are elected from single-member districts.

In the local elections, voters elected governors, vice-governors, and board members of the country's 79 provinces, and the mayor, vice-mayor and councilors of the nation's more than 1,600 cities and municipalities.


The COMELEC sits as the National Board of Canvassers for the 12 senatorial positions. Padron:Philippine senate election, 2004

Per party/coalitionBaguhin
Party/coalition Votes % Seats won %
Aksyon Demokratiko 9,362,416 3.7 0 0
Independents 9,963,742 3.9 0 0
K-4 132,793,971 52.2 7 58.3
KNP 95,953,367 37.7 5 41.7
Partido Isang Bansa, Isang Diwa 862,218 0.3 0 0
Reporma-LM 4,740,531 1.9 0 0


Padron:Philippine House election, 2004

Exit pollsBaguhin

During and immediately after the elections, exit polls were conducted by various organizations including the Social Weather Stations. An exit poll conducted by the SWS in Metro Manila showed that Arroyo won by a wide margin. SWS later admitted that it made a huge error in its Metro Manila exit poll.

The SWS exit poll said Mrs Arroyo won 34 percent of the vote in Metro Manila against Poe's 25 percent. The official count showed Poe winning Metro Manila by 37 percent against the President's 26 percent.

A nationwide exit poll conducted by a research group called Proberz, on the other had, showed that Poe won the elections with 38% of the total 4,010 respondents against Arroyo's 34%. The poll showed Poe leading in Regions II, III, IV-A, IV-B, VIII, IX, XII, Metro Manila, and the ARMM. GMA thriumphed over Poe in the rest of the regions. In the vice-presidential race, the exit poll indicates that Legarda won with 51% or the votes, followed by De Castro with 46%.

On January 25, 2008, Pulse Asia survey (commissioned by Genuine Opposition (GO) per former Senator Sergio Osmeña III) stated that 58% percent of Filipinos in Mindanao believed that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo cheated in the Philippine general election, 2004. 70% also "believed that because of recurring allegations of election fraud, the credibility of the balloting process in Mindanao was at a record low."[5]

Official Congressional canvassBaguhin

Under the constitution, the Congress is mandated to become the National Board of Canvassers for the top two positions, the President and the Vice-President. Tallying in the 216,382 precincts nationwide are submitted in Election Returns that are forwarded to the municipal and city board of canvassers. These are then tabulated and forwarded to the provincial board of canvassers which prepare the 176 Certificates of Canvass (CoC). These CoCs were forwarded to the joint session of the Congress at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City on May 25, 2004.

Senators and representatives from the administration and opposition have debated heatedly on the procedure of counting the CoCs. The traditional way of counting the certificates, as used in the 1992 and 1998 elections, was to appoint a joint committee consisting of seven senators and seven representatives. Many opposition legislators, notably, Cong. Didagen Dilangalen of Maguindanao, opposed this traditional method as unconstitutional saying that it should be the whole Congress, not a committee, who should count the votes. Part of the argument was that "power delegated cannot be further delegated", referring to the delegation of counting to a committee. The proposal of some legislators was for the whole Congress to sit in a joint session counting each and every single Certificate of Canvass.

The debates and deliberations for the rules of canvassing were finished by the Congressional joint session on May 28. The rules decided were very similar to the ones used in the 1992 and 1998 elections, which called for a joint committee to act as the National Board of Canvassers. The notable difference is the increase of the number of committee members from 14 to 22, this time consisting of 11 senators and 11 representatives. The composition of the committee was also announced by the Senate President, Franklin Drilon, and the Speaker of the House, Jose de Venecia. The composition was immediately lambasted by the Opposition; the House portion of the committee consisted of 9 administration representatives and 2 opposition. The Poe camp called for a more equal representation for all the involved political parties in the committee, despite the appointed commission mirroring the current composition of the House: there are 190 administration representatives in a 220-seat House.

The official canvassing by the Congressional Joint Committee started on June 4, a little less than one month after election day. Canvassing was done in a slow pace, averaging about 12 Certificates of Canvass per day, as the Opposition accused Administration politicians of railroading the canvass. The Opposition lawyers wanted to question the validity of 25 CoCs, especially in those areas where Arroyo posted a wide margin over Poe. They wanted the Committee to examine the Statement of Votes at the municipal level and even down to the Election Returns at the precinct level to prove their claim that the Certificates of Canvass have been tampered with in favor of Arroyo. Administration lawyers contend that the Committee is not the proper place to lodge complaints of fraud and that the Opposition should go to the Presidential Election Tribunal (the Supreme Court) after the winner has been proclaimed.

Election scandalBaguhin

In June 2004, two investigative writers Antonio Abaya and Roberto Verzola, analyzing the results independently of each other, separately published their conclusion that the discrepancies between the official count by Congress and the citizens' tally by NAMFREL indicated significant cheating by winning candidate Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. [1]. However, few paid attention to the allegations, and Macapagal-Arroyo was proclaimed winner on June 24, 2004 [2]. Verzola's findings that "Gloria Macapagal Arroyo did not win by around 1.1 million votes over Fernando Poe Jr." and that "it was a very close contest, with the most probable results ranging from a GMA win of around 156,000 votes or less, to an FPJ win of around 84,000 votes or less" were subsequently published in Kasarinlan, an internationally-refereed academic journal published by the country's top university, the University of the Philippines [3]

On the night of December 11, 2004, Poe was admitted into Saint Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City, after complaining of dizziness at a gathering in his production studio premise. He suffered from a stroke and slipped into a coma while being treated for a brain clot. On December 14, Poe died due to a massive stroke. By this time, allegations were rife that Arroyo cheated in the elections.

On June 10, 2005, Samuel Ong, a former deputy director of the country's National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said that he is a source of a set of original audio tapes of a wiretapped conversation between President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and an official of the Commission on Elections, allegedly Virgilio Garcillano.

The contents of the tape allegedly proves, according to Ong, that the 2004 national election was rigged by Arroyo and that she is not the real winner of the said election. If the Supreme Court declares that Arroyo cheated and rigged the 2004 elections, Vice President De Castro would become President, that is if he is found to be innocent of poll fraud charges brought by Poe's running mate Loren Legarda.

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Padron:Philippine elections