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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Senator Zubiri Resigns in Exchange for Honor

The elections of 2004 and 2007 have been tainted with accusations of electoral fraud. Dad is still alive then and he has been convinced during those times that indeed the ruling political leaders at that time have not been fair and honest. He could not believe that Fernando Poe Jr. would lose the presidency in Visayas and Mindanao.

One of the most controversial electoral cases in the 2007 mid-term senatorial election is the twelfth position, which then candidates Juan Miguel Zubiri and Koko Pimentel III have disputed. Pimentel asserts that there has been electoral fraud in favor of Zubiri particularly in the province of Maguindanao. Zubiri denies the assertion and the argument has reached the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

Recent developments have raised the question of electoral fraud particularly from the admissions of former ARMM governor Zaldy Ampatuan and Comelec official Lintang Bidol of their participation in the electoral manipulation in favor of Zubiri.

If Dad is only alive today, he would have reacted adamantly pointing out that his suspicion is true all the while.

Last August 3, 2011, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, in a privilege speech in the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines, has announced his resignation from his position as a Senator. He says that he could no longer bear the false accusations that he has committed electoral fraud to obtain his position as Senator and to save his family from further emotional trauma, he has decided to relinquish his position and has withdrawn his counter protest, which would facilitate the SET (Senate Electoral Tribunal) proceedings in favor of Koko Pimentel III.

Many have acclaimed his act. They say that he has set an example for government officials to follow: honor and dignity is far more important than political power.

I myself agree that Senator Zubiri’s action is commendable. However, does this mean that he is morally convinced that electoral fraud has indeed happened? Well, his action might mean that he is now cutting his political connection with the former dispensation.

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