by jun asuncion
On its face value, the resignation is a good example for others to follow who have served the Arroyo machinery of deceit for the last nine years. As there are still many of them in the government, those who know that they won the 2007 elections ( the winning of which also helped them won the 2010 elections in one form or another) through fraud should voluntarily leave their posts now for the sake of the nation. As Zubiri himself opined,
“No amount of power, position or wealth is worth sacrificing one’s honor and integrity.”
Honor and integrity weigh more in the end when the truth comes out, the issue becoming more intense and starts hurting the whole family and the whole clan.
Zubiri himself denies vehemently his winning through electoral fraud in 2007. He could be telling the truth but he could also be unmindful or unaware of the truth. But the 2007 political circumstances were definitely against him. We know that it will not smell rotten if there is nothing rotten somewhere. And the political circumstances during Arroyo’s time were rotten that this rotten smell went even beyond the Philippine territories. The whole world still remembers how the Philippine politics smelt so bad at that time. And Zubiri should consider that a rotten fruit in a basket ruins the rest. Coming himself from this basket, he should not wonder why he carries that rotten smell on his shirt.
The 2007 election was grounded itself on the rotten 2004 election which still smells pungent today, providing a lot of air purifying work for the Aquino administration. And then again, the 2004 election was itself grounded on an unconstitutional coming to power by the then Vice-President Gloria Arroyo (Edsa II) in 2001 when Erap was ejected from his office without due process of law. The Philippine political scene on those days was marked by political conspiracies. Looking back, I think Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo has done nothing in her political life but to ruin and dishonor her father’s name.
Back to Zubiri. Philstar reports: “The SET is deliberating on an electoral protest filed by Pimentel. It was alleged in his election protest that votes in Maguindanao in the 2007 midterm elections had been manipulated to favor Zubiri and other candidates of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Zubiri won the 12th Senate slot, based on election results. Zubiri, who comes from a powerful political clan in Bukidnon, denied he had cheated.”
Zubiri denied he had cheated. If Arroyo cheated for him, then he was telling the truth.
But the case of the detained Lintal Bedol and Zaldy Ampatuan seems to shed a bit more light to Zubiri’s situation.
While the detained Zaldy Ampatuan claims massive cheating in the 2004 and 2007 elections, Zubiri seems to discount its possibility with his statements that:
– it’s ““highly suspect” that witnesses recently surfaced to claim there was massive fraud in 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,”
– “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… ”
Now, if not in captivity and not threatened with perhaps life imprisonment (in China and Japan, death penalty), do you think Zaldy Ampatuan would claim those massive election cheating? And, trading places with Ampatuan, do you think Zubiri would deny this said election cheating?
We should remember that the patronage politics of Arroyo was in need of strong political allies in the south and that the Zubiri and Ampatuan political clans were in the same Arroyo basket.
But it seems that two different situations produce two different arguments even among basket members. Who is lying now, Zaldy Ampatuan or Juan Miguel Zubiri?
As I have noted, Zubiri could be innocent and could be telling the truth and he has the right to defend his truth. My problem lies in his utter denial of the 2004 and 2007 poll irregularities. Why deny the obvious and argue as baseless and groundless the joint target of the DOJ and Comelec investigations? Here he becomes – to use his own words – “highly suspect” for me.
His resignation is not just a pure gesture of delicadeza for there is something more to it. His whole behavior is funny in a way. If duly elected as senator – as he claims – why resign and not fight for it? In this way, he would be giving honor to the people (including his own clan) who voted for him. The family is important, and not to hurt his own family is much more important. But it should not be used as an alibi for everything.
If I try to zoom in to Zubiri’s picture, I can see somebody who wants to save his own skin by appealing to the psychology (pag-hanga and awa) of the Filipino people and he shows a great deal of ambivalence in his actions. His last minute sweet talking and gesturing all point to his angst and appeal for help and awa. I can see someone who smells but deny the Arroyo smell on his shirt and now hurries home to change it with a fresh one in the hope of a fresh and successful political return. This man is playing with our values.
We will see as we wait for the DOJ and Comelec final findings.