Facing recurrent challenges to her legitimacy as President, the elections of 2004 was the chance Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had to win the presidency in her own right. Despite a public statement that she would not seek re-election, she assembled a formidable coalition—K-4—led by her adoptive party Lakas-CMD and parties that were in opposition to the Estrada regime in support of her bid. Arroyo picked 2001 Senate topnotcher and former broadcaster Manuel “Noli” de Castro Jr. to be her running mate.
The People Power Coalition that had helped her administration win an outright Senate majority three years earlier, however, had disbanded; three smaller parties of the coalition, namely Aksyon Demokratiko, Reporma-LM, and PROMDI, threw their support behind former Senator and Education Secretary Raul Roco, who formed the Alyansa ng Pag-asa. Roco had chosen former Tarlac Rep. Herminio Aquino to be his vice president and ran as an alternative to Arroyo, distinct from the mainstream opposition which was dominated by sympathizers of former President Estrada.
Meanwhile, the opposition fielded matinee idol Fernando Poe Jr. and Senator Loren Legarda, a recent recruit from the ruling party. Their political union was backed by the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP), composed of the LABAN ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), Estrada’s Partido ng Masang Pilipino, and other minority parties. The once-formidable LDP, however, had split into the Angara wing that supported Poe and the Aquino wing, led by former Senator and Makati Representative Butz Aquino, who supported partymate Senator Panfilo Lacson for the presidency. Another contender, televangelist Eduardo “Eddie” Villanueva, also threw his hat into the race.
The result was victory for President Arroyo and de Castro amid allegations of vote- rigging and electoral fraud. K-4 scored a majority in the Senate with seven of its bets winning against five from the KNP.
The Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) has published the Philippine Electoral Almanac, a handy resource on Philippine national elections from 1935 onwards.