Press Release
July 16, 2010

Zubiri seeks due process as SET says he was cheated
in Metro and Mega Manila

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri today decried the malicious attempt by losing senatorial candidate Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III to obstruct due process by trying to railroad the rules and processes of the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

"How can Koko say the fight is over when my 25 percent counter protested area clearly shows that cheating took place in Metro Manila and Mega Manila especially when the SET revisors found tens of thousands of spurious or fake ballots in these areas,"

The SET through Resolution Number 07-105 dated June 4, 2010, had said that "both Pimentel and Zubiri admitted that ballots of dubious integrity were discovered in the course of the revision proceedings in the pilot precincts of Quezon City, Manila, Batangas and Bulacan."

The SET gives an even more explicit observation and says "the tribunal's own examination and appreciation of the ballots resulted in a finding that more than 50 percent of the ballots specially cited in the revision reports were indeed spurious. Accordingly, the presence of said bogus ballots must be considered as a strong indicator that the elections in the said areas were marred by irregularities" (Quoted directly from the approved SET resolution)

Sen. Zubiri said he had always suspected that an electoral syndicate was operating in Metro and Mega Manila to "enhance the votes of certain candidates and minimize the votes of others."

He said: "My deepest suspicions have come true. It seems that SET has uncovered the syndicates that operated in the cities and areas perceived to be opposition bailiwicks to enhance the candidacies of certain opposition members."

Zubiri reiterated this challenge to Koko Pimentel and his camp: "I am not delaying this protest. What I want to know is the truth. Why are you afraid to seek the truth behind these syndicates? I therefore make this challenge that our camp will request the SET to open the remaining ballot boxes of Metro Manila first to continue to prove that electoral fraud did take place here. However if the SET does not find anymore evidence of election fraud in Metro Manila, then I will resign my post as senator."

"That will not take up too much time as the ballot boxes can be quickly retrieved and counted and this will dispute Koko's claim that I want to just delay this process," he added.

Zubiri continues: "This administration is pushing for a Truth Commission and here is a golden opportunity to see the truth. Why therefore are they afraid of truth? Let's open the boxes in Metro Manila and see the results. If it's insignificant then I go, but if there are more evidence uncovered then let due process prevail. That is my challenge to Koko."

The SET Resolution endorsed by 7 out of 9 members, two of which are Supreme Court Justices Presbiterio Velasco and Teresita De Castro, ends by saying: "It reasonably appears from the results of the initial revision and appreciation of the ballots and election documents in the pilot counter protested precincts that Zubiri has a prima facie valid cause to pursue his counter protest."

The majority of the SET members did not agree with the dissenting opinion of Justice Antonio Carpio.

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