By Raïssa Robles
Does Migz Zubiri deserve political sainthood or a lifetime in jail as a hood for the crime of electoral sabotage?
Let me give you the facts and you be the judge.
Last Wednesday August 3, 2011, Zubiri stunned the nation by resigning from the Senate and declaring “hindi ako kapit tuko” (I don’t cling to my post like a lizard).
He said in his privilege speech and his subsequent heartfelt interviews that he was unaware there was cheating in Maguindanao province and he was unaware that he benefited from it:
Without admitting any fault and with my vehement denial of the alleged electoral fraud hurled against me, I am submitting my resignation as a duly elected Senator of the Republic of the Philippines in the election for which I am falsely accused without mercy and compassion.
His dramatic gesture reaped praise in general.
But recall what really happened in 2007
Because some people like my crusading friend Gerry Kaimo recalled what Migz Zubiri said in the heat of the 2007 electoral battle when he and Koko Pimentel were clawing each other for the 12th and last Senate slot. Gerry reminded me that Zubiri had said then:
May chance pa tayo. Malaki pa ang chance. Pero iyong sa akin lang naman huwag sana i-exclude ang boto sa Maguindanao dahil sila po ay Filipino. Sila po ay may boses. Sila po ay may karapatan maghalal ng senador. Yan ang pinakaimportante.
[We still have a chance to win. A very big chance. As for me, we should not exclude votes in Maguindanao because they are Filipinos. They have the voice. They have the right to select senators. That is very important.]
Migz Zubiri has to explain what he meant by that. How did he know that the Maguindanao votes would deliver his victory?
Migz Zubiri persisted in his quest for a Senate seat and was proclaimed winner two months later by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Last Wednesday, Migz Zubiri vehemently said:
Ako ay bumitiw sa puwesto dahil gusto kong ibalik ang integridad ng aking pangalan at pamilya.Hindi po tayo nandaya. Wala po tayong kinausap na mandaya para sa atin. Hindi po namin tatanggapin ang boto ng pandaraya.
Kung may nandaya po sa 2007 elections, wala po tayong kinalaman diyan…Hindi po tayo nandaya. Wala po tayong kinausap na mandaya para sa atin. Hindi po namin tatanggapin ang boto ng pandaraya.
[I resigned from my post because I want to bring back the integrity of my name and family. We did not cheat. We did not ask anyone to cheat for us. We will not accept votes that came from cheating. If anyone cheated in the 2007 elections, we did not know anything about it. We did not cheat. We did not ask anyone to cheat for us. We will not accept votes that came from cheating.]
Really? You won’t?
But you did accept the votes for four years, Migz Zubiri. The election in Maguindanao was heavily tainted from the start and you knew it and you insisted that your overwhelming votes from there be included in the finally tally so you could win.
Again, how did you know you could count on the Maguindanao votes to boost you to victory?
Migz Zubiri was No. 1 in Maguindanao and won over 195,000 votes there. Gloria Arroyo’s senatorial bets won all the votes there while her opponents all got zero.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer published this direct quote from Migz Zubiri on June 19, 2007:
“When the votes from Maguindanao come in, I will lead Pimentel by 17,000 votes,” Zubiri said. He added that the COCs from Maguindanao have been with the Comelec since May 19. “They cannot accuse us of manipulating the COCs to cover Pimentel’s lead,” he said.
To place Migz Zubiri’s statements in context, let’s look at what actually took place in Maguindanao.
Migz Zubiri’s Senate seat was bought with blood
Election Day for the Philippines was May 14, 2007. It took Zubiri two months to be proclaimed senator.
By May 31, 2007, Migz Zubiri was the last man standing because his fellow administration senatorial candidate and fellow Spice Boy Mike Defensor conceded defeat on that day saying:
I concede because I love my family and I want my children to learn that there is honor in defeat.
What happened during those two months was magic laced with human blood.
Only a week after the elections, the lawyers’ group Lente, which was formed against electoral fraud, was approached by a school teacher with an astounding story. She claimed that on the eve of elections, she and her fellow teachers and their students were forced at gunpoint to fill up empty ballots with the names of Migz Zubiri and 11 other names who were running under the banner of Mrs. Arroyo.
The teacher even claimed they did the same thing in the 20004 presidential elections which Arroyo won.
Migz Zubiri did not lift a finger to have these grave accusations against his impending victory investigated.
On June 6, 2007, someone pumped several bullets into the face and chest of Maguindanao Schools District Supervisor Musa Dimasidsing. In the colorful language used by radio announcers – niratrat siya.
Dimasidsing’s CRIME, it turned out, was to turn whistle-blower by filing a complaint against election fraud that included ballot snatching and tampering with the certificates of canvass.
The murder prompted Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos to form Task Force Maguindanao. Abalos said it was mainly to look into why the election documents from Maguindanao had not reached the Comelec main office in Manila 26 days AFTER the May 14 elections.
The slain school supervisor had earlier squealed that in the town of Pagalungan, Maguindanao alone, votes were actually counted in only 19 of the 57 precincts there.
Now this was where Lintang Bedol came in. He was then the chairman of the Provincial Board of Canvassers for Maguindanao province. He actually told the poll commissioners at that time that the provincial canvassing was not witnessed by any of the poll watchdog groups or by any of the political parties, in violation of law.
Bedol brought to the Comelec the official Certificates of Canvass pertaining to votes in the province of Maguindanao. But Lintang Bedol said these were not the ORIGINAL copies because the original ones had been STOLEN BY THIEVES from him.
Bedol also failed to submit the canvassing results from the various towns and the Statement of Votes from every precinct, again in violation of law.
When summoned to appear before the Comelec and bring all these documents, Bedol simply went missing. And now he has surfaced to say there was massive cheating in that province.
Despite all these events, the Comelec chaired by Benjamin Abalos insisted on including the Bedol-supplied CoCs in the tallying of votes for Migz Zubiri and Koko Pimentel.
As Inquirer’s Nikko Dizon wrote on June 27, 2007:
“These proceedings are loaded. They are meant to legitimize the Bedol CoC, maybe bawasan ng konti ang mga boto (shave the votes a bit) … Solved na si Zubiri,” a frustrated Neri Colmenares, Bayan Muna lawyer, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer after he walked out of the provincial capitol’s session hall where the canvassing was being held.
Colmenares was referring to Maguindanao’s controversial election supervisor Lintang Bedol, who claimed he had lost to thieves the first copies of the Maguindanao CoCs.
Before last week, Migz Zubiri had always insisted he did not cheat and he actually won in Maguindanao.
But because of the surfacing of Bedol as a possible state witness and the claim of cheating by former Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao Zaldy Ampatuan, Migz Zubiri has suddenly changed his story.
He now says there was cheating and a massive one at that. True, he benefited, but he claims he KNEW NOTHING ABOUT IT.
… Thank you, Raissa for coming out with another investigative reporting… Zubiri is a cheat and a liar and should not be given another chance to fool the people again.
steve teves says
you’re great miss Raissa Robles
steve teves says
no kidding ms. Raissa, galing ng mga report mo with matching written evidences, di ka bias, interested ako sa mga topics mo about sa mga politicians, sulat mo lahat mga kalokohan nila may ebidensya ka talaga,bilib ako sa mga research mo.
bago pa lang ako nagbabasa mga blog mo, very interesting talaga, keep it up.
may god bless you always, alam ko marami ka nasasagasaan dahil gusto mo lang/ natin ng katotohanan, ingat ka sana lagi.
ps. invite kita sa fb ko, paki accept nman, thanks.
Nori plazo says
Had i known these facts,ms raissa, i would have not voted for this cad zubiri. He is not only a cheater, but a cheater with blood on his hands.
Pucci Popple says
Dear Ms. Robles,
Thanks for re-confirming our worst suspicions about Migz Z. I did not vote for him then and will not vote for him in 2013. I did not buy his resignation spiel. I believe that he knowingly cheated Koko Pimentel. I swear that if in the past I would somehow cross paths with him, I will show my disapproval by calling out “Zubiri Kadiri”. He said in Kapihan at Diamond Hotel last Monday (Aug 8th) that he had not had a holiday in 15 years. Well, his wife Audrey said a few years ago that she and Migz had just enjoyed a South African holiday. She said he loves visiting places that he has not been before. So when he travels to these places, it’s on business for the Philippine government? How convenient! What a liar!
Rallie F. Cruz says
Surely a lie will become true if the liar will believe in his lies and so are the people who orchestrated the resignation as a way to save the liar from being found guilty by the evidences to be presented.
Two statements of Mike Defensor conceding defeat:
“I concede to ease the tension on the ground and to dismiss a notion that there may be illegal acts committed to attain my victory.”
“I concede so as to enjoin my allies and friends who may want, in their desire to have me win, commit acts inimical to the essence of democracy and fair play in an election battle.”
tsk tsk, his resignation was very cold and calculated indeed..
he is as low as the other cockroaches
and this play acting is just so he can avoid
court now and run in the next election.
despicable and dishonourable – but
that is the low standard the country accepts.
it should be ashamed to even call itself a democracy.
at least the civilised world know what hustlers and scam artists filipinos are. steal or beg what you can and steal the rest. try doing some work and naking a contribution.
CESAR ARELLANO says
This bad man Zubiri,is trying to win sympathy from his very clear cheating and conspiracy, and he keeps on opening his mouth when he should close his trap to lessen mine and peoples anger and rage.those pork barrel he got and the salaries from the past four years must be returned to the government.he is a goon of top caliber, he should noy attempt to run again for any position in the government, not even basurero! What he did to Koko is unforgivable and Koko has no right to forgive him, he have insulted the masses and he likewise, deprived the voters of their right of suffrage. Planning to come back to politics?
you try asshole, you will be full,of holes, if you insist, as you pretend that your head is empty you did not know what you did yes you are pull of holes you son of a bitch did’nt you say you save the family’s name of sob/
Evangeline Eriksson says
@Cesar Arellano Great commentary.
I reiterate Attention: Ex Fke Senatorr Zubiri you are a Son of a Bitch!
You insulted our intelligence by the contents of your Goodbye kiss speech. You are disgusting indeed. You could have done it the Gen Angelo Reyes ways. That would have suited you best.
Your family deserves to get sick by your dishonourable conduct of cheating.
A very strong, dignified, honest politician does not just resign based on malicious gossips by anyone.
Should you change your mind that you want to redeem yourself from this disgraceful stealing of the senatorial position- Just Do Not Come Back in any public position.
Become a farmer if you want.
jun kwe says
this is what i hav always thought. ok migz …. granting you are not aware of the cheating and you’re ashamed to have benefited from it, certainly the people who did it must have told you later so you will ‘behave’accordingly in the senate. forget about your comeback plans a–hole!
Reynaldo R. Reyes says
From the article written by Ms. Raisa Robles, it can be said that not only non-Senator Migz Zubiri made a mockery of the Philippine election, but also resigned Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos.
It is unbelievable that being then the Comelec chair, Abalos did not know of the massive cheating in Maguindanao. It is recalled that before Migz Zubiri was proclaimed a winning candidate by Comelec, Abalos was reported to have met Bukidnon Governor Zubiri, father of Migz, in a restaurant hotel somewhere in Edsa.
Knowing now how corrupt and crooked is the ex-Comelec Chairman, who served only a political tool of the presidential usurper, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, during the 2004 elections, he should be together with Migz Zubiri and the impostor president be further investigated, charged and if found guilty be imprisoned to bring home the message that crime never pays.
There’s always pay back time for the sinners!
CESAR ARELLANO says
It should be done, we have to be firmed on that I never thought that Abalos would turn mafioso what a shame Gloria and arroyos, as i always repeatedly said should be hanged upside down zubiri tied to the post under the arroyos, imagine what falls in his face.he deserve it all..
Evangeline Eriksson says
The remaining life of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is not enough to pay for her crime, should she be senteced the lifetime in prison. The Arroyos have become the most hated president of the Philippines toppling the Marcosses..
arsenio garcia says
tama ka raiza. malinis ang pagsusuri mo. siya lang naman (Zubiri) ang ngayon lang naka-alam ng dayaan sa magindanao. ang buong comelec ay dapat makasama sa pagkakaso, at pagpaparusa sa mga nandaya sa halalang 2004 at 2007.