For the sake of family, honor and country
Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri today submitted his resignation before the Senate for the sake of his family, honor and country.
“As a legislator, who is being referred to in the Senate as Your Honor, I believe that my honor is something that should never be subject to taint. No amount of power, position or wealth is worth sacrificing one’s honor and integrity. Sa bandang huli, ang legasiya ng isang tao ay hindi nasusukat kung gaano kataas ang posisyon ang kanyang narating o ang dami ng kanyang yaman na naipon, kungdi ito ay nasusukat sa kanyang pagpapanatiling malinis at walang bahid-dungis ang kanyang sariling dignidad at integridad,” Zubiri said in a privilege speech witnessed by his family, friends, relatives, colleagues and supporters.
Zubiri, the youngest ever Senate Majority Floor leader at age 39, who helped steer the Senate in a record-breaking performance of passing 651 laws during the 14th Congress also added that while he continues to focus on his duties and projects nationwide, his family and the Senate as an institution have been “suffering” with him.
“I have always taken it upon myself, not to give-in to intrigues against my person and honor – to always keep on maintaining my focus on performing my duties well. All these, I rehearsed. I was prepared. I was conditioned. During the past few days, however, God reminded me that no matter how much I insist on exclusively carrying the burden of my oath and duties, the truth is that I have a family that suffers with me together with the Senate as an Institution, whether I like it or not,” he said adding that:
“I have seen and felt the suffering of my family, and from the burrows of my conscience, I could not allow this to happen, let alone be tolerated. They do not deserve to suffer the consequences of my position. After all, I am a husband first before a Senator; and I am a father first before a legislator. I believe that membership in the Senate and serving our people is the highest form of service that a citizen could give back to his country.”
Zubiri who has been hailed as the “Father of the Cooperative Code,” “Mr. Biofuels,” “Eco Warrior” and “Champion of Biodiversity” is also the author of several laws and environmental laws:
1. RA 9520 – Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008 (Sponsor and Author)
2. RA 9513 – Renewable Energy Act of 2008 (Co-Sponsor and Author)
3. RA 10068 – Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 (Sponsor and Author)
4. RA 9679 – Home Development Mutual Fund Act of 2009 (Principal Author and Co-sponsor)
5. RA 9653 – Rent Control Act of 2009 (Principal Author and Co-sponsor)
6. RA 9507 – Socialized and Low-Cost Housing Loan Condonation Act (Sponsor and Author)
7. RA 9997 – the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Act of 2009 (Sponsor and Author)
8. RA 9996 – the Mindanao Development Authority Act of 2010 (Principal Author and Co-sponsor)
9. RA 9904 – the Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners’ Associations (Sponsor and Author)
10. RA 9903 – Condonation of Penalties on Delinquent Social Security Contributions (Principal Author and Co-sponsor)
11. RA 9507 – the Socialized and Low-Cost Housing Loan Condonation Program (Sponsor and Author)
12. RA 9850 – Declaring Arnis as the National Martial Art and Sport (Sponsor and Author)
13. RA 10121 – Philippine Disaster Risk Management Act (Co-sponsor and Author)
14. RA 10143 – Establishing the Philippine Tax Academy (Sponsor)
15. RA 10026 – Granting Income tax Exemption to Local Water Districts (Co-Sponsor and Co-Author)
16. RA 10072 – New Charter of the Philippine Red Cross (Co-sponsor and Author)
17. RA 10073 – New Charter of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines (Author)
18. RA 9645 – Declaring July 27 of Every Year as Araw ng Iglesia Ni Cristo and as Special Working Holiday (Co-sponsor and Author)
19. RA 9849 – Declaring Eidul Adha as a National Holiday (Co-sponsor and Author)
20. RA 10023 – Free Patents Act (Author)
21. RA 9851 – International Humanitarian Law (Author)
22. RA 9500 – UP Charter Amendments (Author)
23. RA 10122 – Strengthening the Literacy Coordinating Council (Co-sponsor)
24. RA 9505 – Personal Equity and Retirement Account (PERA) Act of 2008 (Author)
25. RA 9504 – Individual Income Tax Rate Exemption Law (Author)
26. RA 9502 – Cheaper Medicines Act (Author)
To his detractors Zubiri has this to say: “But let me just emphasize to my detractors, as I paraphrase a quote from General Douglas Macarthur that: I am not actually retreating; I am merely advancing in another direction.”
The Mindanao solon also said that he looks forward to becoming a private citizen as he can now focus on his family, especially his two kids, and advocacies in the environment, cooperative sector and his Isang Bayan, Isang Proyekto program which has been providing social services and essential infrastructure projects in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
“At sa ating mga kababayan na nagtiwala at sumuporta sa inyong lingkod, maraming-maraming salamat po. Hinihiling ko po ang patuloy ninyong pagtitiwala at suporta, ngayon higit kailanman, lalung-lalu na kung saan man tayo dalhin ng kapalaran. My career in this August Chamber had been a fabled journey that is certainly not wanting of memories. However, as much as I wish to remain in the service of my country, I will not do so, at the expense of my honor and integrity. My Alma Mater’s, the University of the Philippines, dictum of “HONOR AND EXCELLENCE” is a principle that I have upheld and imbibed in all of my daily undertakings. I now go to live in happiness and peace with my family. I will leave the Senate with my head held up high, knowing that despite all endeavors that came my way, I was able to survive and perform, and I did so with the support of those who believed in me and my advocacies.,” Zubiri who recently received his Masters Degree in Environment and Natural Resources Management at the University of the Philippines Open University said.
Zubiri is the first in the Senate history to voluntarily leave his post as elected senator.