Pimentel proclaimed as senator

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Thursday, August 11, 2011


MANILA (3rd Update, 3:41 p.m.) -- The Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) on Thursday proclaimed lawyer Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel as the 12th winning senator in the 2007 elections.

The SET en banc, composed of Supreme Court justices and senators, decided in Pimentel's favor over the election protest he filed against Juan Miguel Zubiri, who resigned from the Senate recently.

The SET decision was based on the evidence presented by Pimentel in his protest showing many ballots were spurious.

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In the SET's final tally, Pimentel led resigned senator Zubiri by 258,166 votes.

Pimentel got 10,898,786 votes, while Zubiri got 10,640,620, according to the SET's official count.

Pimentel, who was accompanied by his family, including former senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. to the Sofitel in Pasay City, thanked the SET for resolving his protest.

"It's rare. Never in recorded history that a protest in the set has been decided in merits. This is a milestone in SET," he said.

"I would like to congratulate the Senate Electoral Tribunal for this achievement," he added.

He also said he is making himself available to be a member of the SET so they can review the rules and prepare for the next automated elections.

Pimentel hoped that his proclamation will influence other agencies in delivering justice in the country.

The newly proclaimed senator said he will leave for Davao today, Thursday, for his oath-taking in Mati City on Friday.

He will also be sworn into office by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile next Monday while the Senate is in session.

Pimentel earlier said he chose Mati City because it is where he got the number two spot in 2007 senatorial race. He admitted that he did not campaign much in the area.

Zubiri and Pimentel have been at loggerheads over the 12th senatorial spot, with the former Bukidnon lawmaker winning by at least 20,000 votes based on the final tally of the Commission on Elections.

Pimentel earlier filed an election protest with the SET, assailing the results from 2,658 precincts in Mindanao.

Zubiri filed a counter-protest, saying around 211,403 more votes should have been counted in his favor.

However, he withdrew his counter protest on August 4, 2011 to formally inform the body that he has resigned. (Jonathan de Santos/Sunnex)

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