Fernando Poe Jr. presidential campaign, 2004

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Fernando Poe Jr.
Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino candidate for
President of the Philippines
Election date
May 10, 2004
Running mate Loren Legarda
Personal details
Political party Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino

Fernando Poe Jr., a famous Filipino actor and cultural icon, was the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP)'s candidate for the presidential election 2004. A public figure in his movie career and known for his charitable but unpublicized endeavours, he targeted his candidacy at the same poor whom he championed in his movies.

Poe accepted the nomination in December 2003 and was to be the standard opposition bearer for the Philippines' 2004 presidential election.[1] Some accounts portray him as a reluctant candidate who was only prevailed upon to accept the nomination by his best friend, deposed former President Joseph Estrada. But other accounts say he was convinced to cast his bid for the presidency because of the overwhelming crowd that gathered for the first rally of the FPJ for President Movement at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

Disqualification case[edit]

One of the primary issues that Poe faced during the campaign period was the disqualification case filed before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and later elevated to the Supreme Court about his citizenship.[2] Even though he was born in the Philippines, lawyers, including Atty. Maria C. Jeanette Tecson, who filed the disqualification case argued that Poe was not a natural-born Filipino, a requirement for a presidential candidate, because he was an illegitimate child who should have followed the citizenship of his American mother. They argued that Poe's father was not a Filipino either because records indicated that Poe's father was a Spanish national. The Supreme Court voted 8-5, with one abstention, in favor of Poe. The high court upheld the previous Comelec ruling and declared Poe was a "natural-born citizen and qualified to run."[2] Supreme Court Justice Hilario Davide Jr. said a preponderance of evidence established that Poe's father was a Filipino because Poe's grandfather, Lorenzo, had not declared allegiance to Spain by virtue of the Treaty of Paris and the Philippine Bill of 1902.[2] Davide said that, in the case of an illegitimate child whose father is a Filipino and whose mother is an alien, proof of paternity is enough for the child to take after the citizenship of his putative father.

Death of Atty. Maria C. Jeanette Tecson[edit]

On September 28, 2007, 8:30 p.m, Senior Superintendent Francisco Uyami, Pasig police chief stated that Maria C. Jeanette Tecson, 40, a lawyer from Surigao (Surigao City), 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).[3] Tecson, Zoilo Velez (promoted to Court of Appeals Justice) and Victorino Fornier filed the unsuccessful 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 Fernando Poe and American mother Bessie Kelly did not marry until 1940.[4]

Campaign period[edit]

Political critics charged Poe of being heavily linked to political interest groups, and tried to compare his candidacy to that of Estrada, who ran on a similar platform, but was deposed from office and put under house arrest after numerous corruption scandals. While initially seen as the frontrunner in the campaign, his performance in opinion polls was eventually surpassed by the incumbent Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who went on to win the elections.[5] The poll protest was later thrown out by the Supreme Court acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal[6] There is a controversy, known as the Hello Garci scandal, on whether Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had actually won the elections due to allegations of vote rigging, but this was denied by Arroyo.

Poll protest[edit]

After Poe unsuccessful bid to the presidency, his supporters, which include the deposed Estrada's supporters, viewed the election results as flawed, and came under legal protest by Poe and his vice-presidential running mate, former Senator Loren Legarda.[7] The poll protest was later thrown out by the Supreme Court acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal,[6] as well as Legarda's protest.[8]

Public opinion[edit]

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."[9] Many Pangasinenses, on the other hand, still find it really hard to believe that Poe got no votes at all in the municipality of Santo Tomas, Pangasinan.


  1. ^ "Poe accepted nomination as main opposition candidate vs. Arroyo for 2004". Newsflash.org. 2003-12-23. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  2. ^ a b c "Poe Filipino, SC rules". Sun Star Network Online. 2004-04-03. Archived from the original on 2008-01-03. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  3. ^ Inquirer.net, Lawyer found dead in Pasig hotel
  4. ^ GMA NEWS.TV, Laywer [sic] who filed DQ case vs FPJ found dead in Ortigas hotel
  5. ^ "GMA, FPJ 'statistically tied' in SWS survey". Sun Star Network Online. 2004-03-04. Archived from the original on 2008-01-03. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  6. ^ a b "FPJ's poll protest vs GMA junked". Manila Standard Today. 2005-03-30. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  7. ^ "FPJ, Loren file separate poll protest before the Supreme Court". Newsflash.org. 2004-07-24. Archived from the original on 2006-02-05. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  8. ^ "Legarda's poll protest vs De Castro junked". Philippine Daily Inquirer. 2007-06-06. Archived from the original on 2007-07-15. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  9. ^ GMA NEWS.TV, Most Mindanaoans believe Arroyo cheated in ’04 polls - Pulse