Big alliance mounts removal of Angara, Legarda, Pangilinan, Lapid from Senate tribunal

                  Cause-oriented groups have mounted a broad alliance to pressure the Senate of the Philippines to remove from its electoral tribunal Senators Ed Angara, Loren Legarda, Kiko Pangilinan and Lito Lapid for they were biased against the truth when they voted to set aside a proposition to declare Koko Pimentel as the 12th winner of the 2007 senatorial elections.

            When the new Congress opened last July, the same senators were reelected to the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

            The fact that the same senators are to decide again, Pimentel’s motion for reconsideration will be put to hopelessness.

            “They have shown their bias against the truth once. They will show it again,” said the People’s Manifesto signed by these groups and the people who joined to the caused.

                 The groups vowed to continue to fight for the truth, as shown by the recount of 2,658 precincts mostly from Maguindanao province, that Mr. Pimentel won by a large margin over Mr. Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, it being the true will and the true voice of the people.

            “We will never stop for the removal of Angara, Legarda, Pangilinan and Lapid from the electoral tribunal. They betrayed the truth once, they will betray it again,” Patrick Pantaleon insisted.

            Pantaleon represents Compassionate Patriots for Accountability and Transparency (Compact) where he is the president and La Salle-Ateneo At Lahat Na (LAAL).

            When they voted a few days before the previous Congress was to expire, these senators insulted the truth that Zubiri had—and has—no more  chance to overtake the lead of Pimentel.

            After all the protested precincts of Pimentel were counted, he got a margin of 257,401 votes over Zubiri.

            In a hope to surmount the big margin, Zubiri filed a counter-protest claiming he was cheated in 73,265 precincts in Metro Manila aside from Taguig and Pateros and in eight provinces.

            But the first 18,277 precincts of Zubiri showed he only got a total of 11,948 votes.  This means that for every precinct, he only got 0.65 vote. 

                “With this dismal result for him, how much more votes do you think can Zubiri get from the 54,988 precincts more to be counted? Even if he is to be credited one vote each precinct, he will only get an additional of 54,988 votes.  These cannot surmount the lead of 257,401 votes established by Pimentel in his protest,” Toto Causing, president of Hukuman ng Mamamayan Movement Inc. (HMMI), explained.

            Under the rules of electoral protest, probability of winning is based on the result of the initial one-fourth or 25% of the protested precincts.

            If the initial count of Zubiri’s first one-fourth protested precincts resulted in less than one vote per precinct, it means that he cannot do better in the balance of the total number of precincts he protested.

            “So it was totally against the truth for these senators to allow Zubiri to continue counting the rest of his protested precincts,” Causing said.

            The recounting of the 2,658 precincts of Koko and the 18,277 precincts of Migz was completed  in more than three years.  It is obvious that the remaining three years of the six-year term of a senator will expire before the protested precincts of Zubiri can finished.

            It is therefore an obvious attempt of Zubiri to frustrate the truth with full cooperation from the said senators.

            Most of the signatories to the people’s manifesto are from Tita Cory Movement (TCM) group, Worldwide Filipino Alliance (WFA), Overseas Filipino Council International (OFCI) and HMMI.


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