Zubiri resigns from Senate post-A A +A
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
MANILA (Updated 4:42 p.m.) -- Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri announced his resignation from the Senate to save his family and the legislature from scandal over allegations of poll fraud in the 2007 elections.
"As a legislator who is being referred to in the Senate as 'Your Honor', I believe that my honor is something that should never be subject to taint," Zubiri, one of two senators from Mindanao, said.
He said that recent allegations by massacre suspect Zaldy Ampatuan and former Commission on Elections supervisor in Maguindanao Lintang Bedol that Zubiri benefitted from poll fraud in 2007 have begun a trial by publicity.
He said lawyer Aquilino Pimentel III, with whom he is locked in an electoral dispute, "took advantage" of the testimonies to call for his resignation.
"My political detractors began calling me ugly names and dragging the name of my family in entirety," he said.
He said he did not cheat in the elections and did not ask anyone to do so in his behalf. He said that in the 30 years that the Zubiris have been in politics, "not once has our name been dragged in any election controversy."
"I have seen and felt the suffering of my family, and from the burrows of my conscience, I could not allow this to happen, let alone be tolerated," he said.
He said his wife has had trouble sleeping and his parents are "now constantly suffering physically and emotionally."
"As much as I wish to remain in the service of my country, I will not do so at the expense of my honor and integrity," he added.
Malacanang welcomed Zubiri's decision to quit post.
His resignation "represents a way forward to start healing the wounds of the past. We thank him for the service he has given our countrymen," presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.
Lacierda also called on Zubiri "to further demonstrate his willingness to help restore the dignity of our electoral process."
“Any contribution he makes can be vital in restoring the people’s mandate and in giving the Filipinos the meaningful electoral reforms they rightfully deserve,” said Lacierda. (Jonathan de Santos/Jill Beltran/Sunnex)