MANILA — Senator-elect Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri on Wednesday called on Filipinos to move forward from the divisive May 9 elections and "work together" to solve the country's problems.
"Ang pakiusap ko sa ating mga kababayan ngayon ay sana magkaisa na po tayo. Itigil na natin ang bangayan. Let us work together united as one family, as one country, as one nation... because post-pandemic, madami pa tayong kailangang gawin," Zubiri said in his speech after being proclaimed among the winners in the 2022 Senate race.
(Now, I request my fellowmen to please unite. Let us set the conflicts aside and work together united as one family, as one country, as one nation... because post-pandemic, we have a lot of work to do.)
"Kailangan nating tuldukan ang kahirapan ng ating mga kababayan... and now is the time to do it," he added.
(We have to end the poverty of our compatriots.)
Zubiri, who spoke in a mix of Filipino and Cebuano, described the past few weeks as "grueling" and "emotionally draining."
"I'm quite an amiable person, wala akong inaaway. Kaya minsan, kung nababasa n'yo iyong bashing na natatanggap n'yo sa internet, medyo masasaktan po kayo emotionally and it shows physically," he said of the recent campaign period.
(I'm quite an amiable person. I don't start fights with anyone. That's why sometimes, if you read the bashing you get on the internet, you get hurt emotionally and it shows physically.)
With his mandate in the Senate renewed for a second term, Zubiri said that he was looking forward to working with his fellow senators-elect.
"They're all great people. I think this 19th Congress will be filled with hardworking and dedicated public servants. Kaya't ako'y natutuwa at nagagalak na kasama ko kayong lahat," he added.
(I am glad that I will be working with all of you.)
Zubiri, who ran under the UniTeam senatorial slate of presumptive president Bongbong Marcos and presumptive vice president Sara Duterte, finished eighth in the senatorial race after obtaining 18,582,962 votes.
He was first elected as senator in 2007 and was supposed to serve until 2013. However, he resigned as senator in 2011 due to election fraud accusations.
He was elected senator again in 2016 and has served as majority leader since 2018.
ABS-CBN News sources say he is gaining ground in a possible bid for the Senate presidency.