Zubiri: No evidence I knew poll cheating
MANILA, Philippines - Resigned senator Juan Miguel Zubiri on Thursday continued to wash his hands of alleged cheating in the 2007 polls that allowed him to take the 12th and last spot in the Senate.
Speaking to ANC, Zubiri said it would be hard to convince his erstwhile rival, Sen. Koko Pimentel, that he (Zubiri) did not know about the plot to rig the 2007 election results in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
“It’s difficult to make someone believe if he does not want to believe. Sa akin naman po, wala tayong nalalaman. Kung mayroon po akong nalalaman o participation dun, would I have resigned my position? I could have stayed until 2013…If I was a dubious politician or traditional politician, I would have fought it out all the way to 2013,” he said.
“If he does not want to believe me, there is no evidence to prove the fact na kung ano yung sinasabi nitong witnesses na ito na kinausap ko sila,” he added.
Conspiracy to rig Maguindanao results
Zubiri said he immediately resigned his post last year after former elections supervisor Lintang Bedol revealed a conspiracy to rig poll results in Maguindanao to favor members of Team Unity (TU). All 12 Team Unity bets emerged as the top vote-getters in Maguindanao in the allegedly rigged poll.
Zubiri said he could not have known any of the alleged cheating in Maguindanao since he was always with fellow TU bets Joker Arroyo, Ralph Recto, Tito Sotto and Edgardo Angara.
“Yung nangyari sa baba ay isang gawa nila na hindi tayo witting beneficiary or willing beneficiary,” he said.
Sincerity and good faith
The former lawmaker said he resigned last year and withdrew his counter-protest as a sign of sincerity and good faith to Pimentel, who had been fighting Zubiri’s electoral victory for the past 4 years.
He noted that even former President Joseph Estrada cleared him of poll fraud after telling the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino “that Zubiri should be in jail if proven that he knew anything about the cheating.”
Zubiri took his oath with the PMP on Thursday, leaving behind his former party Lakas-CMD.
Vice-President Jejomar Binay earlier said he wants Zubiri in the United Nationalist Alliance slate for the 2013 Senate election.