This afternoon, Senator Miguel “Migs” Zubiri expressed his irrevocable resignation as a senator during his privilege speech. Sen. Zubiri placed 12th in the 2007 election, leading Atty. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III by slim margin of around 20,000 votes.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said this is the first time he witnessed an elected official resigning from his post.
Why did Sen. Zubiri resign?
A quick glance of the history: In 2007 election, the Arroyo administration won everything in the ARMM region, in which oppposition received zero votes, including the then-senator Noynoy Aquino. Atty. Koko Pimentel protested which is still pending before the Senate Electoral Tribunal.
When Maguindanao ex-governor Zaldy Ampatuan was put to trial for a different case (Ampatuan Massacre), he revealed that there was fraud in the election, masterminded by the Arroyo administration, in which Zubiri was part of, but Zubiri claimed he had nothing to do with the fraud.
During Zubiri’s speech, he mentioned he was not involved in the cheating and did not ask anyone to cheat for him.
“I am resigning because of these unfounded accusations against me, and this issue has systematically divided our nation and has cast doubts in our electoral system which have affected not only myself, this institution but the public as well.”
Zubiri also said that his family is extremely affected by the controversies, and he is a family man first before anything else. Hence, the resignation.
Noble or Guilty?
Filipino people expressed different reactions (as heard from the news) upon hearing Zubiri’s decision. Some say it is a noble act, some say it is a political strategy for the next election in 2013. Others expressed that Zubiri’s move is an admission of guilt.
Is it an honorable act?
Whatever you think it was, I feel Zubiri made a correct decision today.
On a Personal Note
I give a lot of credit to Miguel Zubiri: this is the first time in Philippine history that a senator gives up his senatorial seat. Who would have thought that a politician will step down and give up his power?
But if I were in Zubiri’s shoes and I know that I was not involved in the fraud – directly or indirectly – I will fight for what I know is right: defend my senatorial seat.
If I know I won the election cleanly, I will continue to work for the country, the hell what my detractors say about me.
If the people put me in that position, I will continue to serve them whether they voted for me or not.