Press Release
May 13, 2009

Press statement of Senator Zubiri on the preliminary hearing tomorrow

"I don't believe that Senator Manuel Villar will not receive a fair hearing tomorrow because precisely, we took it away from the Committee on Ethics because of this perceived bias of the members of the Committee. Therefore, it is now the Committee of the Whole in which the whole membership of the Senate is going to look into the alleged anomalies to the complaint of Sen. Jamby Madrigal.

"I think it's not fair that all of us, Senators who have no personal interest on this case one way or the other (are accused of unfair bias). I for one am not running for president, and I would like to look at this case with utmost priority, transparency and accountability.

"If during the course of the investigation it will appear that it's mere political harassment then my vote will be to exonerate Sen. Villar. However, if during the investigation it will be shown that there is probable cause then, I also will not let up in seeking the truth.

In any case, I appeal to Sen. Villar not to brand us, Senators, as already biased because he is definitely mistaken. I would like to suggest to Sen. Villar to attend the proceedings and defend himself. Don't get other people to defend for him. Defend yourself from these accusations because I'm sure with his defense many of us can be convinced of his innocence. But, if he will continue to refuse to defend himself, then we are going to have to filter out the truth on our own."

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