By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr. [BicolToday.com]
The resignation of Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri opened the pandora box of election fraud in Mindanao during the 2007 election as revealed by former ARMM governor and Maguindanao massacre suspect Zaldy Ampatuan as collaborated by former Comelec supervisor of Sultan Kudarat Lintang Bedol. The unfolding of events was a heavy toll to Zubiri that he was contemplating to resign two weeks ago. Setting aside tradition, the senator choose to preserve his honor and integrity rather than continue being a senator with a dark cloud victory seeping in his brain. Conscience did the better of him.
With the scenario, legal and political questions should be resolve for the resigned Zubiri. The political questions are far damaging for it might be perceived that he is well connected with election operators not only during his senatorial bid but also during his three term as representative of Bukidnon. Far from being seen as a new crusader of truth, his act will not belie the fact that Ampatuan and Bedol are earthquake of magnitude that will break loose the vaults of conspiracy common in Mindanao every election.
Admittedly, it was a master showmanship in the senate floor for he took the nation by surprise appearing as your honest to goodness public servant ready to sacrifice to save the integrity of his family and the institution but still short of real atonement for only few believed that he did not know the fraud laced operation hatched by his patrons. He would not admit that he spent a fortune as co-financier of the scheme. Then, emotionally side tracking his political opponent on numerous occasions to proved that he won the number twelve senatorial seat inspite of his knowledge that his victory is tainted by political fraud. Where his conscience at that time unsullied? He was after the position, his interest then is political power belying now his posturing that he is a public servant of unsullied stature.
Where it not for the revelation of Zaldy Ampatuan and the coming out from the cold of Lintang Bedol, it would have been all quiet in the Zubiri camp, no resignation, less media hoopla. The soul searching might be gone, it would have been, enjoy the honor of the office of the senator and the power attached to it, keeping the secret election fraud. It was sad for him that there is no turning back for evidence are pooping coated by unassailable truth that he was a beneficiary of cheating in Mindanao in 2007. That is hard to swallow thus resigning is the best option. What befall him is a story of chilling reality. Though he was in in the camp to win a seat, he was likewise top of the list of expendable whenever the flood water rises to save the throne of the master builders. It was victory laced in acidity for we might think that someone missed the date of payback time of the operators. Maybe he has an inkling but remained unperturbed believing that a senator’s chair is impregnable.
Though the fiasco, the senator did well with his senate duties, pushing education a notch higher, the environmental concern, health services were his trademark legislation. Good for him for he spikes the senate hall in style, good for us likewise that our bills are not authored by public servants serving with questionable election victory, much better for the nation for there is a man willing to admit though couch in derivatives why he resigned.
Now he is the underdog and sympathy remains high for underdog especially a melodrama of a man in power resigning to save an institution littered with cheaters, pretenders, actors and escape artist. The momentum is with him, he is trending a path for others, if they have the same breed of balls. BicolToday.com