MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang praised the decision of Juan Miguel Zubiri to resign from Senate on Wednesday, following fresh accusations of fraud in the 2007 senatorial elections.
“We respect the decision of Mr. Zubiri to relinquish his post in the Senate. It represents a way forward to start healing the wounds of the past. We thank him for the service he has given our countrymen,” said Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda in a press statement.
Lacierda said Zubiri’s resignation shows that he is keen on unveiling the truth in the alleged cheating in the 2007 elections.
“We call on Mr. 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,” he said.
Vice President Jejomar Binay likewise commended Zubiri for resigning from the Senate.
“I have the highest respect for Miguel Zubiri and his reason for resigning from the Senate. His resignation helps reinforce the people's faith in our leaders and shows that decency is very much alive in our political institutions. I hope he will continue his advocacies, particularly for the environment, as a private citizen,” said Binay.
Atty. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Zubiri’s closest rival, filed an election protest after Zubiri won the 12th and last senatorial seat.
Pimentel's protest is still pending before the Senate Electoral Tribunal. Zubiri also filed a counter-protest.