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Noted! Adaza accuses Binay of selling FPJ out in 2004 electoral protest

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Fernando Poe Jr. might have been proclaimed as the winner of the 2004 presidential race if his circle of advisers— which reportedly included Vice President Jejomar Binay— did not replace his legal team with a bunch of pushovers, said the election lawyer who was dropped by the actor’s camp as a lawyer.

In his Manila Times column, election lawyer Homobono Adaza tagged Binay, then the mayor of Makati City, as one of the politikos who supposedly advised Poe to remove him as a lead counsel in the national canvassing.

Although it was the camp of Poe, better known by his initials FPJ, who sought Adaza’s expertise, the lawyer said the actor had to drop him ahead of the commencement of canvassing “because there were senators and other high profile personalities” who did not want him in the case.

FPJ’s right hand man eventually told the lawyer that aside from Binay, the following politikos eyed another lead counsel in the canvassing of votes: then-senators Edgardo Angara, Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., Teresita Aquino-Oreta and incumbent lawmaker Tito Sotto.

For Adaza, the ramifications of FPJ’s decision to heed his advisers’ advice were dire.

“The national canvassing showed that if FPJ were represented by lawyers who could not be intimidated by then Representative Raul Gonzales of Iloilo and Senator Kiko Pangilinan of Pampanga, the story of the 2004 presidential election would have been different.

It amazed me how lawyers of FPJ meekly accepted the rulings of Gonzales and Pangilinan on the issues involving the genuineness or validity of the certificates of canvass from the provinces and cities. It was a matter of common knowledge that the troops of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) cheated massively in the elections which resulted in the illegal proclamation of GMA. The Garci tapes and the later apology of GMA told the whole story,” he wrote.

Adaza said he would not be surprised if the rumor he heard about Binay’s reported involvement in halting the planned protest of the masses going to Malacañang after FPJ suffered a stroke in December 2004.

“The information from the grapevine was that Jojo Binay was the one who barked the orders not to go through with the march. Whether this is true, I really do not know. Considering Binay’s intervention in the choice of FPJ’s lawyers in the national board of canvassers in the 2004 presidential election, it is possible that Binay did bark the controversial order,” he said.