Friday, August 12, 2011

Younger Pimentel proclaimed 12th senator


MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) officially proclaimed Thursday Atty. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III as the 12th winning senator in the 2007 elections, a week after the dramatic resignation of former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Atty. Pimentel, accompanied by his wife and his parents, was formally proclaimed during a brief ceremony in Pasay City Thursday afternoon by the SET headed by Justice Antonio Carpio.

Aside from Carpio who was present during proclamation, other members of the SET who signed the decision were Associate Justice Teresita J Leonardo de Castro, Associate Justice Arturo D Brion, Senators Pia Cayetano, Francis Pangilinan, Gregorio Honasan, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Antonio Trillanes IV. Sen Lito Lapid, who is also a member of the SET did not sign the decision.

In its decision, Pimentel garnered a total of 10,898,786 votes while Zubiri got a total of 10,640,620 votes or a difference of 258,166 votes.

“It being clear from the figures we garnered, that Pimentel indeed obtained 258,166 more votes more than Zubiri in the Senatorial race in the May 14, 2007 national and local elections, the proclamation of Zubiri as the 12th winning senatorial candidate by the Comelec en banc should be, as it is hereby annulled and set aside and a new one entered, declaring Pimentel as the duly elected senator of the Philippines, said the SET in its resolution.

Malacañang lauded Pimentel after he was officially proclaimed.

“We congratulate Senator Pimentel. At the very east, the people’s mandate has been served,” Deputy Presidential Spokeswoman Abigail Valte said in a text message.

Senator Pimentel replaced Juan Miguel Zubiri who resigned last week amid allegations of cheating in the past elections.

The Palace earlier said it will not be hard for incoming Senator Pimentel to support President Aquino if he is sincere in pushing reforms.

Based on its resolution, the tribunal set aside and annulled Comelec en banc resolution No NBC 07-67 dated July 14, 2007 that declared Zubiri as the winner of the May 14, 2007 national and local elections.

With his proclamation, Atty Pimentel will start performing his duty on Monday, August 15, as the 12th duly elected Senator in the May 2007 senatorial elections. The Senate is back again to 23 Senators starting Monday with the addition of Pimentel in the roster.

An apparently elated Pimentel, who ran under the PDP-Laban party thanked the electoral tribunal for dedicating full attention to his protest.

“I want to congratulate the SET for this rare achievement as this is a milestone in our history that the tribunal was able to resolve an election protest of a Senatorial candidate. I just hope this will infect other government institutions,” Pimentel said in a brief remarks after his proclamation.


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