Ampatuan aide links Migz Zubiri; Migz cries ‘demolition job’

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/29 November) – Former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri refuted claims by an aide of then Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. tagging him to alleged cheating in the 2007 senatorial elections.

“Once again my detractors launched a demolition job against me. I would like to categorically say that all those statements are lies and are out to destroy all the goodwill that we have done for the people,” he said in a series of tweets posted on http://www.migzzubiri.org, his official website.

“First of all, I will never tolerate cheating and I resigned from my post precisely because I will never accept a win like that,” he added, repeating his statements at the hearing Tuesday of the Senate committee on electoral reforms.

Zubiri also denied that he has a cousin named Rudy or Alex. ” …which goes to show the lies they are peddling,” he added.

The former senator was reacting to the statement of one of Ampatuan’s information officers, Ahmad Mamucao , who testified Tuesday before the committee.

Mamucao alleged that a relative of Zubiri named Rudy took part in the alleged plot to rig the results of the 2007 senatorial elections.

He described in his testimony that he transported boxes of election materials allegedly from Zubiri’s office in Maramag, Bukidnon to the office of Maguindanao provincial election officer Lintang Bedol.

He told the Senate hearing the boxes allegedly contained “genuine copies of election returns, certificates of canvass, statements of votes and ballots.”

The senator who resigned in August over alleged elections fraud, said “the timing is suspect since a new major survey has come out last week that we were in magic 8, and so my detractors are moving heaven and earth to discredit me.”
Mamucao added that he personally heard former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo order a 12-0 sweep in favor of the administration’s senatorial ticket.
He said it was Arroyo’s political officer Bong Serrano, whom he met in Malacanang sometime in April 2007, who instructed him to proceed to Maramag, Bukidnon, and look for “Alex” and “Rudy”.
Zubiri appeared in the Senate hearing to deny the allegations he was part of the cheating, and to say he has no relatives named Alex or Rudy.
He told the committee if he would have manipulated the results in Bukidnon if he wanted to cheat, adding Senator Aquilino Pimentel III even landed on the top 12 in Bukidnon.

Pimentel, who protested Zubiri’s victory and was eventually sworn in into the Senate after the latter’s resignation, chaired the committee on electoral reforms. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News)

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