Philippine general election, 2004

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Template:Politics of Philippines 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, movie actor Fernando Poe, Jr..

The elections were notable for several reasons This election first saw the implementation of the Absentee Voting Bill, which enabled Filipinos in over 70 countries to vote. This is also the first election since the 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. 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.



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Map of the Philippines showing which presidential candidate won in which provinces/cities.

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

CandidatePartyVotes %
Gloria Macapagal-ArroyoLakas-CMD12,905,80840.0
Fernando Poe, Jr.KNP11,782,23236.5
Panfilo LacsonLDP3,510,08010.9
Raul RocoAD2,082,7626.5
Eduardo VillanuevaBPM1,988,2186.2

NAMFREL Quickcount

CandidatePartyVotes %
Gloria Macapagal-ArroyoLakas-CMD11,272,38839.4
Fernando Poe, Jr.KNP10,456,24336.6
Panfilo LacsonLDP3,140,49411.0
Raul RocoAD1,942,9216.8
Eduardo VillanuevaBPM1,782,5476.2


Final Official Congressional Canvass

CandidatePartyVotes %
Noli De CastroLakas-CMD15,100,43149.8
Loren Legarda-LevisteKNP14,218,70946.9
Herminio AquinoAD981,5003.2
Rodolfo PajoPIBID22,2440.1

NAMFREL Quickcount

CandidatePartyVotes %
Noli De CastroLakas-CMD13,342,53049.6
Loren Legarda-LevisteKNP12,505,77746.5
Herminio AquinoAD920,3163.4
Rodolfo PajoPIBID139,5490.5
  • AD - Aksyon Demokratiko (Democratic Action)
  • BPM - Bangon Pilipinas Movement (Arise Philippines)
  • Lakas-CMD - Lakas - Christian-Muslim Democrats
  • KNP - Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (Coalition of United Filipinos)
  • LDP - Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (Struggle of Democratic Filipinos)
  • PIBID - Partido Isang Bansa, Isang Diwa (One Nation, One Spirit Party)

Source: National Citizen's Movement for Free Elections (


The COMELEC sits as the National Board of Canvassers for the 12 senatorial positions.

No. Candidate Coalition - Party Votes
1.Manuel Roxas II K-4 - Liberal 19,372,888
2.Ramon Revilla, Jr. K-4 - Lakas 15,801,531
3.Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. KNP - PDP-Laban 13,519,998
4.Jamby Medrigal KNP 13,253,692
5.Richard Gordon K-4 - Lakas 12,707,151
6.Pilar Juliana Cayetano K-4 - Lakas 12,542,054
7.Miriam Defensor-Santiago K-4 - PRP 12,187,401
8.Alfredo Lim KNP 11,286,428
9.Juan Ponce Enrile KNP - LDP 11,191,162
10.Jinggoy Estrada KNP - PMP 11,094,120
11.Manuel Lapid K-4 - Lakas 10,970,941
12.Rodolfo Biazon K-4 - Liberal 10,635,270
13.Robert Barbers K-4 - Lakas 10,624,585
14.Ernesto Maceda KNP 9,944,328
15.John Osmeņa K-4 - Independent 9,914,179

Source: Philippine Commission on Elections (

Legislative and local elections

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.

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 dominant opposition.

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

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–Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD), of which Arroyo is a member. Other parties under this coalition are the Liberal Party, the Nationalist People's Coalition, the Nacionalista Party, and the People's Reform Party.

Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP)

The Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (Coalition of United Filipinos), or KNP, is the coalition of the dominant opposition. Its standard bearers are Fernando Poe, Jr. for president and Sen. Loren Legarda-Leviste for vice-president. The leading party of this coalition is the Angara wing of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (Struggle of Democratic Filipinos) or LDP. The LDP split in late 2003 over issues on who is to be their standard bearer. Most of the party followed the lead of the president, Sen. Edgardo Angara 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 Philippine Masses).

Alyansa ng Pag-asa

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)

Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) (Aquino Wing)

Partido Isang Bansa, Isang Diwa



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


  • October 1 - President Arroyo announces her intention to run for President.
  • November 27 - Fernando Poe, Jr. declares his intention to run for President.


  • February 10 - Start of the official campaign period for national positions
  • 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 - A grenade explodes at the General Santos City Hall where cnavassing 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., proclaimes himself winner in Zamboanga City.
  • May 24 - 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 23 - The Congress approves the report of the Joint Committee officially proclaiming Arroyo the winner.
  • June 30 - Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is inaugurated in Cebu City.

Events leading to the 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 a slew of 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 candidacy

On a speech given on December 30, 2002, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared that she would not run in the 2004 elections saying that she would instead concentrate on helping to improve the economy in her remaining 18 months and that her decisions would then be based on what is best for the country and not what would make her elected. This was hailed as a welcome development by many people especially in the business and economic sectors.

Nine months later, on October 1, 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 candidacy

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.

Eddie Gil's candidacy

The Commission on Elections originally affirmed the cadidacies 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 split

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 elections

Elections in the Philippines has 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.

Events after the elections

Exit polls

During and immediately after the elections, exit polls were conducted by various organizations including the Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia. An exit poll conducted by the SWS in Metro Manila showed that Arroyo and De Castro won the top two positions. These exit polls were lambasted by members of the KNP.

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%.

Official Congressional Canvass

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.

The Congress, as of May 27, has still to begin counting the CoCs. 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 sub-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 1998 and 1992 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 the 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 after the winner has been proclaimed.

Election rigging scandal

See main article - Philippine electoral crisis, 2005

In June 10, 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. 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, Senator Drilon, the highest elected official in the previous 2001 elections, may resume the presidency. He would, in an interim role, call for re-elections to replace the 2004 results.

See also

External links

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