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Is the SET really an independent body when the MagniFIXent Seven Dwarfs Thwarts the Peoples Will by Denying Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, III as the Legitimate Winner?

There is no denying that the May 2007 election is one of the most fraudulent election held in the Philippines, second only to the 2004 Garcified backdoor operation of which Gloria Arroyo was implicated. Among the hot areas where Arroyo enjoyed a questionable mandate was in Maguindanao, the fiefdom under the stranglehold of the notorious and bloodthirsty warlord family of the Ampatuans, now incarcerated and accused of masterminding and carrying out the gruesome mass massacre of journalists and their political rivals. The Ampatuans boastfully delivered a 12 – 0 results in favor of the administration senatorial ticket under Team Unity in the 2007 election, where Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, is one of the victims and Juan Miguel Zubiri, is one of the beneficiaries. One need not be a rocket scientist to figure out that indeed election rigging in Maguindanao is irampant and is of common knowledge. Its notoriety is so widespread that the Mangyans in Mindoro might even be aware of this!

Pimentel filed his election protest before the Senate Electoral Tribunal ( SET) in June 2007,and Migs Zubiri’s counter protest, followed in August of the same year. Pimentel protested the results in 2,658 precincts, distributed in 7 Muslim provinces in Mindanao. SET’s required 25% of which is equal to 664 precincts. On the other hand, Zubiri claimed that he was cheated in 73, 265 precincts or 1/3 OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PRECINCTS IN THE PHILIPPINES! In otherwords, he is saying he felt he was cheated in one of every three precincts in the Philippines. And let us not forget at this point that Zubiri is one of the official candidates of the administration then in power and Koko Pimentel was an opposition candidate. Wow! And Zuburi’s SET-mandated 25% of which is 18, 366 precincts.

In Pimentel’s electoral protest, centering on Maguindanao, which took the SET almost 3 years to hear, he CLEARLY PROVED that he was cheated and was the winner on the 12th spot and not Juan Miguel Zubiri, who was declared by the, now notoriously infamous, COMELEC Chair, Ben Abalos, as the senatorial victor, supposedly “winning” by a mere margin of a little over 18,000 votes. Halalang Marangal in an ABS-CBN article dated 7/27/07 stressed the obvious on the statistical improbability of a Zubiri win. The SET started to look into Zubiri’s counter-protest after the tribunal came out with its resolution of June 17, 2008 finding prima facie valid cause in Pimentel’s election protest,

Last June 4, 2010, the heinous Maguindanao Massacre of 2009 was replayed. This time, it was not as bloody but equally gory in its effect. This time the victims were not innocent civilians and journalists but the whole Filipino nation. Unlike the victims of the Maguindanao Massacre, the victims here were not shot, mutilated, brutalized and killed but what was done to them are as odious and repulsive as those of the Maguindanao Massacre. The victims this time included not only Senator koko Pimentel, who was denied of his clear mandate from the people, but the whole Filipino nation as well. The nation’s dream to have someone of their choice to sit in that supposedly hallowed chamber of the Philippine Senate as one of their 12 champions was slain by the very people they so trusted and put into power, to protect and preserve their interest. What could be equally tragic, if not more, to the Maguindanao Massacre than to kill that ennobling desire of every Filipino, to have a leader of their own choice, by the very people whom the public put to power to protect and nurture that desire? The scene of the massacre this time was not some lonely, isolated Maguindanao provincial dirt road to Shariff Aguak but the RESOLUTION DATED JUNE 4 2010 of the SET. In that resolution, despite the TOTAL absence of proof on Zubiri’s allegations, the SET majority decided to give due course to Zubiri’s counter protest and gave way to the opening for review of the rest of his protested precincts! Once more selfish interest reigned over what is right and best for people and country.

By the sheer humongous size (I/3 of the Philippine overall precincts) of Zubiri’s contested precincts, Pimentel’s motion for reconsideration points out the palpably dilatory character of Zubiri’s counter-protest. What are the chances that Zubiri will be able to prove his allegations when those that were previously opened up failed so miserably to reach even the 50% threshold on fraud required for its continuance? And speaking of hiding behind the law (a well trodden route of the Rule by Law and a favorite fast tract lane used by a recently despised regime), is Zubiri so comfortably unmindful in spending an additional P70 Million of the PEOPLE’S MONEY to open up, examine, and count the ballots of the precincts under his protest at a very conservative estimate of P1,000/precinct, while untold numbers of Filipinos are still having PAGPAG for breakfast, lunch or dinner? Is this really about his “noble pursuit for truth” or is it because it will take another 6.8 years to go through the futile process enough for the contested senate term to expire?

The electoral protest filed by Pimentel, upon recount of the pilot precincts, indicated that the result of the election in Maguindanao was fraudulent and that he should have been the winner to land at the 12th spot and not Zubiri. SET chairman Justice Antonio Carpio’s dissenting opinion on page 4 illustrates, as clearly as the stars, this point when he says:
In Zubiri's pilot precincts, consisting of 18,227 precincts, he was able to recover only 11,948 votes, subject to adjustments, translating to 0.66 average vote recovered per precinct. His projected total recovery is only 33,794 votes in his remaining 75% counter-protested precincts.

On the other hand, Pimentel's net recovery in all his protested precincts is 257, 401 votes. Even if we deduct the number of votes contained in the fake ballots, Zubiri's projected net recovery can not successfully overcome the net recovery posted by Pimentel.
Justice Carpio’s opinion on page 4 below should have been enough to declare Pimentel the legitimate winner but instead the SET came up with a midnight-appointment like resolution, fashioned after GMA’s illegal appointments, to proceed with the expanded electoral counter-protest of Juan Miguel Zubiri:
It must be pointed out that in the main protest, the results of the initial revision and appreciation proceedings showed that the 14 May 2007 election in certain designated pilot areas was characterized by proven irregularities. Thus, it is understandable why In Resolution No. 07-27 2, the Tribunal held that "the election protest case deserves further proceedings."

In Zubiri's counter-protest, however, the election irregularities were merely alleged but not proven. In other words, Zubiri's counter-protest dismally failed to show that he has a prima facie valid cause of action, warranting further proceedings by the Tribunal.
Again, Justice Carpio, on proven facts and figures that can’t be disputed, neatly penned a clear declaration of what is true in this case, Yet , the magniFIXent seven dwarves, relying only on their sheer majority (seven as against two,Justice Carpio and Sen. Pia Cayetano) and the literal application of the law, came out with their conclusion of TRUTH without any factual basis and gave due course to the expanded electoral protest of Miguel Zubiri despite their utter failure to show a prima facie valid cause and amidst a clearly mathematical impossibility for Zubiri to overcome Pimentel’s lead in the recovery of votes. Once more, Justice Carpio’s even-keeled mind leads us to the obvious and shows his fealty to the rule of law when he observed and held that, to continue on page 4 – 5:
It took the Tribunal almost (3) years to examine the ballots in 20,885 contested precincts. The revision of the ballots in the remaining 52,380 non-pilot precincts, representing 75% of the total number of contested precincts in Zubiri's counter-protest, will surely take more than six (6) years assuming the same pace of revision. This defeats the very purpose of designating 25% of the contested precincts as pilot, that is, to dismiss the protest or counter-protest if the results of the 25% pilot precincts shown an improbability to overcome the opponents lead.

Accordingly, I vote to DISMISS the counter-Protest by filed by Juan Miguel F. Zubiri.
Why is it that none of the majority of the SET saw what Justice Carpio did in this case? Did the Senatorial Electoral Tribunal (SET) conspire to deny Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel's rightful senate seat? Congress has been and always will be known for using the numbers game like a congregation of the Mafiosi mob, but to see the Senate getting involved in this lowest of the low numbers-game is simply unthinkable. Having done that however, has it added obscenity as one of its collegial trait?

If there was anything spurious, it was definitely not in the range of 50% according to Justice Carpio on page 2 of his dissenting opinion. Quoting Justice Carpio, he writes:
First, contrary to the majority's assertion, the appreciation reports for Quezon City, Manila, Batangas, and Bulacan show that the number of fake or spurious ballots in these areas does not constitute "more than 50% of the ballots" contested in the particular city or province. In fact, the spurious ballots constitute a mere 2.2% of the total contested in Quezon City, Manila, Batangas, and Bulacan. Incidentally, the fake ballots do not necessarily translate into a net recovery of votes in favor of either Pimentel or Zubiri, as such ballots could reflect votes for either Pimentel or Zubiri or both.
How then did the magniFIXent Seven Dwarfs of the SET majority, namely Senators, Kiko Pangilinan, Juan Ponce Enrile, Richard Gordon, Lito Lapid, Edgardo J. Angara, Loren Legarda, and Justices Presbiterio Velasco, and Teresita J. Leonardo-de Castro arrive at 50% as the basis for proceeding with Zubiri’s counter-protest? Is it because the only thing that is spurious is how they count?

Perhaps, they saw what Justice Carpio also did when he observed that:
In Quezon City, only 50 out of the 1,265 precincts or 3.95% of the number of pilot precincts yielded fake ballots. In terms of ballot count, 2,017 out of 167,664 ballots, representing 1.20% of the total ballots counted were found to be spurious.
but by some stroke of unkind fate or ill luck or some temporary human lapse, they were confused, or worse, were influenced by some increBedol mathematical wizardry and mistook the right figure and concluded that 50 is one and the same as 50%.

It is clear to every one and all, that 50 is not 50% and it concerns only Quezon City, yet the majority might have taken it to mean that with this, Zubiri might have met his legal burden under the SET rules on his pilot precincts and have signed their dishonorable errr honorable names in concurrence to the questioned resolution, as if it was a fill in the blank school room test, where everyone tries to copy everything written including someone’s wrong answer. But then, of the seven, we think only Lito lapid, could convincingly raised that excuse without any objection from the public at large. LOL.

What also amazes is when Miguel Zubiri complains why the SET majority decision was "leaked" to the press. Why treat this SET majority opinion as if this is a state top secret or some very private and personal issue when it is of utmost public interest? We admit that it is a decision that favors Zubiri, so why does it have to be kept from the public, if there is nothing to hide? Is it because it was indeed a conspiracy, after all, not to ferret out the truth, but just a ploy to delay the proceedings enough for Zubiri to finish out the senate term of Pimentel?

On page 9 of the majority SET opinion, Sen. Pia S. Cayetano concurred with Justice Antonio T. Carpio in a scribbled note below her signature:
I concur with the dissenting opinion of Justice Carpio. Rule 79 provides for a speedy & accurate process. The decision of the majority will result in further delay, effectively thwarting the will of the people.
But what is truly intriguing to us is the note scribbled by Ate Shawie errrr Sen. Kiko Pangilinan on the same document, to quote:
I concur in part and dissent in part as explained in separate attached opinion.
Since he concurred with the majority, we inquired from Sen. Kiko Pangilinan in our attempt to see our way through his concurrence and dissent at the same time. We were furnished the separate opinion, which, no matter how many times we read it, it really escapes us where he dissented although it is clear and there is no denying that he stands with the majority opinion, including on their allegation on the 50% fraud. And not being different from the majority, he came out with his concurring conclusion, and like the majority, such conclusion was without any factual legs to stand on. He merely restated the law as he understood it and failed to show the factual basis of his conclusion! Sa madaling salita, iningles lang tayo ng isang ito! And no decent, law abiding Filipino, who was able to maintain his sanity and loyalty to decency after 9 years of rule by GMA, could not help but compare the scandalous position of the MagniFIXent Seven Dwarfs with Justice Carpio’s well supported arguments and figures for the dismissal of Zubiri’s counter-protest. Habits are indeed hard to change. Lalo na daw pag BAD HABITS, like cheating!
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