EB MAGALONA - Almost two years after he resigned from the Lakas Christian Muslim Democrats party, former Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri is joining the political party of former President Joseph Estrada.
Zubiri admitted last night that he is scheduled to take his oath as a new member of the Partido ng Masa Party with Estrada, in a ceremony to be held Thursday at Club Pilipino in Manila.
He said their local political party, Bukidnon Paglaum Party, is also set to coalesce with the newly-formed United Nationalist Alliance, which is now composed of PMP and the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban of Vice-President Jejomar Binay.
Negros Occidental Board Member Patrick Leonard Lacson and Silay City Vice-Mayor Mark Golez had earlier sworn in before Estrada, as new PMP members.
Zubiri, who was the guest of honor of the EB Magalona Ugyonan Festival last night, said he is excited to work with the PMP, citing his close relationship with Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile and Senato Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, before he resigned as a senator last year.
He said he believes the platform and advocacy of the PMP, which is a bottoms-up approach style of government, that gives priority to “masang” Pilipino.
Despite the very divisive plunder trial, Zubiri said former President Estrada has remained a champion of the masses, as he is well-loved by the ordinary people.
For me, he said, “I always fought for the pro-masa principle, rural development, agriculture and environment”, which he described as a pro-poor legislation.
Zubiri was proclaimed the 12th senatorial winner of that election. But he resigned in August 2011 after former Maguindanao provincial Comelec officer Lintang Bedol admitted that there was massive electoral fraud in Maguindanao.
Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, who was benefitted by the resignation. questioned the inclusion of Zubiri in UNA's possible senatorial line-up for 2013.
As far as I am concerned, Zubiri said, he is not fighting with Pimentel. But he said “I hope and pray that we will be together in the (senatorial) line up, since we are both Bisaya,, and for the good of the country”.
However, Zubiri said he is leaving to the party to decide on his fate.
He admitted that the UNA leadership is facing a problem, in terms of number of coalition senatorial candidates.
There are 18 candidates in the UNA shortlist, Zubiri said. He, however, refused to reveal their names.*GPB