Last Speech of Sen Zubiri - Part 1

Senator Juan Miguel F. Zubiri

Speech Delivered on the Senate Plenary
3 August 2011

Mr. President, My Distinguished Colleagues in this August Chamber, Mga Minamahal kong Kababayan:

On several occasions, I rose in this August Chamber, in defense of the environment and other issues affecting our country and our countrymen.

Today, I rise on a personal privilege in defense of my and my family’s honor, integrity and dignity.

And I address this speech to reach our people to whom I owe my present position.

Nais kong marating ang lahat ng ating mga kababayan sa sandaling ito sapagkat sa kanila nagmula o nanggaling ang katungkulan ko bilang isang Senador ng ating bansa.

In the May 2007 elections, I was elected and duly proclaimed as Senator of the Republic with more than 11 million votes. My proclamation was affirmed by the Supreme Court without prejudice to filing any case with the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

This chamber and our people may take judicial notice that my proclamation was assailed through the filing of an election protest before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) alleging fraud and irregularities in some areas covered by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

It was his right to do so just as the law and the rules on election gave me all the rights to file a counter protest in areas where I also believe I was also a victim of similar circumstances which also affected the actual number of votes I obtained in the said election.

Since the said election was conducted manually, and as experience will tell us, the manual count and re-appreciation of the millions of manually prepared ballots from the various protested and counter protested precincts would take a long process and time to be resolved. And that is the reason why, since 2007 up to the present, the revision and the recounting of the manually prepared ballots are still proceeding at the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

While the esteemed protestant claimed that he had recovered substantial number of votes from the areas he protested, the records of the Senate Electoral Tribunal will also reveal that an equally substantial number of votes were recovered in my favor in the areas which I counter protested.

And as a result, the Senate Electoral Tribunal, in its July and August 2010 Resolutions, directed the completion of the 100% revision of all the ballots from the precincts I contested.

While my counter-protest is still pending before the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the revision and recounting of the ballots are going on smoothly to find out the truth on the parties’ allegations, a number of highly suspect “personalities" suddenly cropped up recently, claiming that they were allegedly “witnesses" to the alleged frauds and irregularities during the 2007 elections.

Armed merely with their vocal chords and without any supporting documents to prove their allegations, these alleged witnesses are now shouting out loud and, as if with full orchestration, that my election was marred with irregularities.

My rival took advantage of this political situation. He and his supporters are now asking for my resignation as a duly elected Senator, despite the pendency of his election protest at the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

My political detractors began calling me ugly names and dragging the name of my family in entirety.

In other words, Mr. President, the trial by publicity has begun. The trial at the Senate Electoral Tribunal where this issue could have been properly ventilated and resolved has been practically set aside.