MANILA -- Senatorial candidate Ernesto Maceda believes the Aquino administration is harassing former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo with so many cases, and urged the government to allow the former leader to "rest in peace."
Maceda made the appeal even if he firmly believes the former president and now representative of Pampanga cheated in the 2004 presidential election.
"I think she should be allowed to rest in peace. There have been several cases filed against her. Let us litigate those cases... She is being harassed already," Maceda told ANC's "Headstart."
The former Senate President also said that history should be the judge on whether Arroyo was really corrupt.
"Let history judge that. The common perception is...if not she, it's FG [First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo]," Maceda said.
Still, the 77-year-old senatorial bet called Arroyo too "garapal" when she cheated her closest rival, the late actor Fernando Poe Jr., noting the unbelievable outcome in Cebu where 95 percent of voters picked Arroyo in 2004.
"[FPJ] was cheated. He should have been declared the winner... Garapal masyado ang ginawa nila sa Cebu," he said.
Meanwhile, Maceda called one of Poe's closest friends, former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada, a "man with the biggest heart."
"Talagang pusong mamon eh. Basta magkasakit 'yung mga kaibigan niya, siya pa magbabayad ng pa-ospital... Napakadaling hingan ng tulong," Maceda, who is running under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), said.
Maceda was Philippine ambassador to the US during the short-lived Estrada administration.
He also said former President Ferdinand Marcos was actually a good president but lost public trust after he declared martial law.
"If he had not declared martial law, he would have been declared one of the greatest presidents," he said.
Maceda added that Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, despite being the martial law administrator under Marcos, should still be given credit for his over 50 years of public service.
"At 89, he is still going. He really should be given credit for that," he said.
ANC Headstart, February 22, 2013