By Raïssa Robles
It was a personal encounter with one of Mrs Arroyo’s closest aides that made me realize that she cheated her way to a six-year term that ended last year.
I will not name that aide but I will say I had known him for years and years. Which is why what he said to me struck me dumb with the horror of it.
It was during the annual Christmas party of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (Focap) when I met that aide, following the Hello Garci tapes disclosure and Arroyo’s “I am sorry” speech.
“What was that all about?” I asked the aide, referring to then presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye’s “I have two tapes” speech.
Because of Bunye’s denials, it dawned on a shocked public that during the 2004 presidential elections, the military was eavesdroppping and taping the mobile phone conversations of then Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano with various persons including Mrs Arroyo and her husband Jose Miguel.
“What was that all about?,” I asked the aide during that Focap Christmas party.
His reply stunned me even more. He said frankly, “You want Fernando Poe Jr. to be President?”
In that instant, I knew Arroyo had cheated and the Palace officials around her were part of a grand cover-up.