By: Elena Grace Flores
Since the former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is cleared of electoral sabotage, the battle of the pro and anti-Marcos senators is evident. Among the 2007 Team Unity “winners” was Juan Miguel Zubiri. Koko Pimentel contested Zubiri’s narrow victory over him before the Comelec. He was declared the rightful winner in the senatorial elections in 2011. However, a week before the Senate Electoral Tribunal reached the decision, Zubiri had already resigned as senator amid the alleged electoral fraud allegations that are currently proven as non-existent. z
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[VIDEO]: BREAKING: Court acquits Gloria Arroyo of electoral sabotage (CNN PH)
Guilt Not Proven
Judge Jesus Mupas said; “For failure of the prosecution to prove the guilt of accused Arroyo beyond a reasonable doubt and moral certainty despite ample opportunity and even without evidence in favor of said accused, the demurrer to evidence is granted and the charge of electoral sabotage against accused Arroyo is hereby ordered dismissed.”
Demurrer to Evidence
Mupas grants Arroyo’s Demurrer to Evidence, which means that the former president never presented evidence in the trial. The 6-page decision dismisses the credibility of the whistleblower, former Maguindanao provincial administrator Norie Unas, who said that he heard Arroyo say; It should be 12-0 in Maguindanao, even if you have to fix or change the results.
Pro Marcos Senator
Looking back, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri proposed in 2009 the construction of a 40-foot mega-floodway in Parañaque. This is to allow floodwaters to drain into the Manila Bay and prevent widespread flooding. He wanted to have another look into the Marcos-era mega-spillway plan as designed since the term of former President Ferdinand Marcos. Instead of holding miners in the neck, Zubiri is into strategic planning. Gina Lopez was even disappointed when he voted against her appointment as DENR Secretary.
Environmental Advocacy that Makes Sense
The frustration of Lopez is understandable. She can only blame the big mining businesses for the disastrous calamities. However, it is worth taking a look at how the government can support the mining industry to thrive without endangering the environment. This is what Marcos is advocating for and Zubiri echoes that.
Battle of the Senators
Senator Zubiri and Pimentel symbolize the pro and anti-Marcos supporters. Senator Koko Pimentel was critical of former First Lady and now Rep. Imelda Marcos on using her age to avoid detention if the verdict against her becomes executory. His father, Nene Pimentel has always been a critic of the late President Ferdinand Marcos and martial law during his regime. It looks like Zubiri’s and other pro-Marcos stalwarts’ right time is now.