Zubiri urges Pimentel to accept UNA’s ruling

June 11, 2012 9:44 pm 

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, June 11 – Former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri urged on Monday Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III to accept the decision of the United Nationalists Alliance (UNA) to put them under one senatorial line-up for 2013 midterm elections.

"I am hoping that Senator Koko will see it in his heart to accept the decision of UNA so that we may close this particular chapter of our lives,” Zubiri said in a press statement.

Zubiri made his appeal after Pimentel reiterated stand not to run with Zubiri under senatorial ticket of UNA, a political coalition of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) of former President Joseph Estrada and Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) of Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Zubiri thanked UNA leadership for including him in its senatorial line-up, vowing to reach out to Pimentel “to have a united stand on issues concerning Visayas and Mindanao. Both came from Mindanao.

"Once again, I would like to thank former President Joseph Estrada, Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and the rest of the leaders of the PMP and PDP-Laban. I will do my best not to let my party mates down, and will join them in our fight against poverty, injustice and environmental degradation,” Zubiri said.

However, Pimentel opposed the inclusion of Zubiri. Pimentel has even asked former President Estrada to drop Zubiri from UNA’s senatorial line-up.

”I realize that I need UNA’s help in order to win as senator in 2013. But if UNA requires me to run with an election cheat before help is extended to me, then I am prepared to lose, for as long as I remain true to what I passionately believe in,” Pimentel stated in his letter to Estrada, UNA core executive committee.

Pimentel said he was the complainant in the electoral sabotage cases against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2007 where, he said, Zubiri was the biggest beneficiary.

Zubiri was declared 12th senator in the 2007 elections but stepped down four years later amid speculations of election cheating, allowing Pimentel, the 13th placer, to take vacated spot. (PNA) RMA/jfm

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