- Senator-elect Juan Miguel Zubiri calls his return to the Senate a “vindication”
- Zubiri resigned his seat in 2011 after allegations of fraud during the 2007 polls emerged
- Zubiri ranked sixth overall in the 2016 elections
Senator-elect Juan Miguel Zubiri, who was officially proclaimed by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) as one of the winners of the 2016 election, is looking forward to his return to the Upper House; calling it a “vindication” for him.
Zubiri’s first stint in the Senate ended in controversy after he handed in his resignation in 2011 following allegations of poll fraud in the 2007 national elections that landed him a seat in the first place. He then launched a failed attempt to reclaim his seat in 2013 but only placed 14th overall.
“It’s a sweet victory for me, a sort of vindication. Ako po’y nanalo ng kontrobersyal na panalo noong 2007, nag-resign noong 2011, natalo noong 2013. Wala na po akong plano dapat na bumalik sa politika, pero naudyok po ako ng marami nating kababayan na lumaban muli dahil sa ating track record na walang bahid ng dungis. [I won a controversial victory in 2007, resigned in 2011, lost in 2013. I had no plan to return to politics, but I was convinced by many of our countrymen to fight again because of our track record with no bad mark],” Zubiri told GMA News.
The former Senate Majority Floor Leader landed sixth in the 2016 elections with over 16,119,165 or almost 36 percent of all votes cast.
Zubiri credited his return to the Senate to public perception of his character and work.
“Sa tingin ko nakita rin ng taumbayan na pagdating po ng kontrobersiya sa Senado, ‘yung Napoles scam, maybe ‘yung mga absent doon sa Kongreso, nakita po nila na ako walang absent, ako walang issue of corruption. Siguro sabi nila, ‘Mabait pala itong si Migz Zubiri.’ Natutuwa ako at nagpapasalamat. [I think the people saw that when it cam to the controversies in the Senate, the Napoles scam, maybe those absent in Congress, they saw that I did not have any absents, I had no issue of corruption. Maybe the said, ‘Migz Zubiri is good.’ I am happy and thankful.] It was not a difficult campaign for me. I still went around about 57 provinces, but mostly it was a tri-media campaign,” he said.
The former Representative of the 3rd district of Bukidnon in Congress also expressed his support to fellow Mindanaon, incoming President Rodrigo Duterte.