Whether or not the apparition is genuine, or that the "ghost" is really that of FPJ or, for that matter, whether ghosts or spirits of dead people are real, Filipinos should well learn from the lessons of the 2004 presidential elections and proclamation fraud. If the people of the Southeast Asian islands with a blatantly colonial name, i.e., the Philippines, are to emerge not necessarily as one and united, but even just as a race dignified by basic morals of fairness and electoral honesty, they would need to learn from its recent electoral history.
As seen in the GMA-7's "24 Oras" news video footage, an apparition or figure of sorts that looked , moved and dressed like FPJ seemed to have left or passed through the late actor's image on the hanged tarpaulin poster hanging by the wall of his tomb. The incident was captured by the cellphone camera of a woman who visited Poe's tomb. A computer video expert concluded that the footage was either genuine or made by a very technologically sophisticated hoaxer.
Why FPJ could warn us of Lakas-Kampi is obvious. The coalition party is, of course, the party of Arroyo--the machinery that has assured legislative conformity with her unpatriotic agenda and, perhaps more importantly, has primarily squashed all the impeachment attempts against her. Why FPJ would warn the Filipinos about the Liberal Party may not seem so obvious but it probably has all to do with how he got cheated in 2004.
The LP, along with Lakas-Kampi, is thought to be responsible for the congressional dimension of the 2004 presidential poll fraud and cover-up. Making an apparition capturable by a phone camera is possibly FPJ's way of reminding of the electoral injustice done to him and the people. 'Don't vote Lakas-Kampi or LP come May 2010,' could be the message of the ghost of the man cheated of presidential victory "Hello Garci" style.
Of course, one could claim that FPJ is playing partisan politics, and probably wants his followers to give him posthomous justice by voting for Chiz Escudero, the "batang trapo" (says the democratically uncivil "civil society) who took the cudgel of being his spokesperson during the 2004 presidential polls. Then again, Poe Jr. could be campaigning for his friend, former President Joseph Estrada who was, in the first place, responsible for convincing him to run against Arroyo in 2004. These two speculations, of course, are hinged on whether the apparition is genuine and/or whether spirits are real.
Liberal Party Record
Skeptics will definitely not buy the message-of-FPJ-ghost theory. One does not need to believe in apparitions to see that the Liberal Party does not really stand for genuine change, however. The party and its stalwarts ex-Sen. Jovito Salonga and now-presidential contender Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III have a recent history of disrespect for the Constitution and simply being tolerant, if not actually engaging in immoral or unethical politics.
In Oplan Excelsis/EDSA 2 Coup
First, these party big-names helped installed the Illegitimate, later surveyed to be the "Most Corrupt President in Philippine History." During the height of the anti-Estrada movement back in 2000-2001, Salonga was, of course in the forefront of those wanting Erap to resign or be impeached. Noynoy Aquino was then a Congressman for Tarlac. As recounted by The Daily Tribune's Ninez Cacho-Olivares, the only son of the late Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino and ex-President Corazon "Cory" Aquino, was among those who hailed the move of then-Speaker Manuel "Manny" Villar to transmit the impeachment complaint to the Senate-even without the benefit of plenary vote.
When things didn't work out to their liking during the Senate impeachment hearings, the LP members joined those who walked out and amassed in EDSA 2 to oust Estrada. Of course, the 2001 coup was "legitimized" by the Davide court's ruling that Joseph Estrada did "constructive resignation" even in the absence of a resignation letter or actual physical incapacity. Still, that novel , never-before-heard SC decision won't take away the fact that it was a coup, the fruition of Plan B of the Oplan Excelsis revealed in October 2000 by The Daily Tribune, which was, in turn, predated by a series of Manila Standard articles on anti-Estrada destabilization efforts during the early part of the same year.
LP's Role in 2004 Poll Cheating/Cover-up
Next, their disloyalty to the Constitution by way of the penchant for going against the people's will was manifested anew during the 2004 elections. Not only did Salonga, et al. avidly campaign for Arroyo but worse, they took part in what the "Hello Garci" tapes would later reveal to be a fraudulent proclamation of the "President-elect."
As described by Daily Tribune's Demaree Raval, this was accomplished when "the leaders of the LP railroaded the national [congressional] canvass." The LP was "in the thick of the cheating" as its leaders simply noted the objections while members of Fernando Poe's camp "were crying themselves hoarse against the fraud" during the congressional canvassing. It should be recalled that LP Sen. Francisco "Kiko" Pangilinan was the chairman of the Joint Congressional Canvassing Committee.
The opposition camp was trying to present evidence of electoral fraud before the committee but they were basically not allowed to. The lawyers, and congressional supporters of FPJ and running mate Loren Legarda were blocked from having select ballot boxes containing contested certificates of canvass or COCs opened. During the canvassing, Pangilinan earned the moniker of "Sen. Noted" because he struck down all objections and arguments to prove electoral fraud by his frequent utterances of the now-infamous word "Noted."
Raval also writes that opposition solons and lawyers were prevented by LP members from even speaking or presenting "the election returns to prove the lie of the manufactured certificates of canvass." He must be referring to the likes of Cong. Butch Abad, LP representative from Batanes, who silenced the voice of those who justly wanted Congress to look into the evidence of presidential poll fraud. Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III, then an LP congressman from Tarlac, might not have actively taken part in railroading the canvass but as journalist Ninez Cacho-Olivares notes, "kept his mouth shut even in the face of massive electoral cheating."
For the flimsy excuse that it would take a long time to study the questioned COCs, the country was deprived of knowing who really won in the 2004 presidential polls. Subsequently, Liberal Party solons led by Senate President Franklin Drilon and Pangilinan, along with other congressional cheats, sealed the canvassing charade when they surreptitiously proclaimed Gloria as the "President-elect" during the wee hours of the June 24, 2004. A break-of-dawn congressional proclamation (earlier, actually: 3:38 am) was unprecedented but it succeeded in preempting any protest or opposition action that could have derailed Arroyo's "proclamation."
In the 2004 deprivation of the Filipinos' right to clean and honest polls, the LP played a crucial role. Arroyo, and players like LP members, thought they got away with the great crime that the "Hello, Garci" expose would later unravel.
Telling "Hello Garci' Tapes
The wiretapped evidence of 2004 electoral fraud (OK, alleged) was first exposed in mid-2005. Former National Bureau of Investigation deputy director Samuel Ong later would soon present the master tapes. The wiretapped records that have come to be known as the "Hello Garci" tapes primarily show the conversations between Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and elections commissioner Virgilio "Garci" Garcillano in connection with operations surrounding the May 11 elections and vote canvassing. The operations revealed by the tapes were designed to cheat Arroyo's way towards her continued hold on power and rob FPJ of electoral victory.
The more telling of the tapes shows a woman believed to be Arroyo asking "Garci" to ensure for her a 1 million lead over FPJ. In another dated May 26, 2004, Arroyo informs Garci that she has "allies" in the Senate, which could allow them to delay "the senatorial canvassing until after the voting on the rules" that night.
Actually, even prior to May 2004, the LP seemed to have already taken the resolve to ensure the victory of Arroyo by hook or by crook. Raval writes on the role of the LP in trying to disqualify FPJ from the 2004 presidential elections:
"Even before the elections, the senators belonging to the LP prevented the report of the Angara Committee establishing the Manapat forgeries on the birth certificate of then presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr. and the marriage certificate of FPJ's parents."
Raval tags the LP members responsible for the 2004 proclamation of Arroyo as perhaps the country's "worst politicians," having gone "to bed with her, who prostituted themselves for political patronage, who enjoyed the power that went with being with the lying and the cheating and the stealing, then all too suddenly turned against Gloria" when the "Hello Garci" tapes were exposed.
What the Daily Tribune columnist is basically saying is the LP members who took part in the 2004 electoral fraud are immoral political chameleons who could change color as readily as they cried "Garci!" Obviously, why the LP leaders broke off with Gloria in 2005 was the opportunity to make the people falsely believe that they took no part in cheating FPJ in favor of Arroyo.
On July 8, 2005, practically as soon as the "Hello Garci" expose hugged the headlines, Cory called for a news conference where she asked Arroyo to resign. For a time, she continued her demand for the illegitimate's resignation, with her son Noynoy joining in as a good chunk of LP members bolted out of the alliance with Gloria.
This makes one wonder, however, whether the reason why Salonga, et al joined in the "Hello Garci" condemnation was only to make it falsely appear to the late former President Corazon "Cory" Aquino that during the whole time that they went through the motions of canvassing and proclamation, they were totally unaware of Arroyo's cheating? One could even ask whether the LP did it only so that Noynoy would not be chastised by his mother for doing nothing while FPJ was cheated in the canvassing? Either one of these or Cory herself was part of, or aware of, the 2004 poll fraud and cover-up--something rather unlikely.
As early as around April 2004, this column was already aware that poll fraud will be done to ensure Gloria Arroyo's presidential victory. A person rather close to me, and within the vicinity of power no matter how low-key s/he may be, confided that "dadayain" the presidential elections. I remember him/her adding something like "I hope the country can weather the storm that is sure to come."
Salonga and this person share a rather influential organization, one breeding ground of the influential (clue: University of the Philippines). If this resource person of mine was aware of the operation to doctor the 2004 presidential elections, so were Sen. Salonga and, it should logically follow, the rest of Liberal Party biggies.
My resource person did not actually name Salonga or the Liberal Party as parties to the poll fraud plan. Neither did I ask him/her who exactly were involved because I couldn't accept his/her revelations to be true (s/he also vaguely talked of the advanced parties from Gloria's camp as distributing goodies in areas where poll-related surveys were scheduled to be held). I guess I couldn't believe that "good people" in the government would allow something as blatantly immoral as cheating to happen. Suffice it to say, however, that putting the two and two of "Hello Garci," Sen. "Noted," and my resource person's political/organizational ties and revelations together, a not unclear role of the LP in the 2004 presidential poll fraud emerges.
FPJ Ghost or no FPJ Ghost
Whether or not the FPJ cemetery ghost story is real, the Filipino people need to be wary of the Liberal Party of today, nay, punish the party by not voting their bets. By the way, Kris Aquino reportedly is being visited by the spirit of her mom. The late Cory Aquino, it should be recalled, apologized to former President Estrada for part in the "2001 uprising." Noynoy apparently tried to save face for the Liberal Party by claiming that the apology was a joke but the only compromise he was ultimately able to wrangle from his mom was the statement that it was indeed "said in jest but she's not taking it back."
It seems fairly obvious to anyone sober enough not to be taken by the lies of EDSA 2 that Noynoy Aquino's association with LP make him a 'bad trapo'? Is it possible that Cory's ghost is telling the same message--Noynoy be wary of, rather, get out from, the seemingly politically prostituted party that is LP!?
One of my parents was an avid LP supporter. I don't exactly feel good because I never thought I'll be writing something like this about the party to which Diosdado Macapagal and Ninoy Aquino belonged. Change for the moral good, genuine good change, is what our country needs, however. Besides, isn't the need to ensure "clean and honest elections" one of the chief lessons the Philippines is supposed to have learned from the Marcos experience (when even the bird, bees and the dead supposedly voted in 1969, ultimately allowing Apo Ferdie's 1972 declaration of Martial Law)?
References & Video here