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Juan Miguel Zubiri

Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri is a Filipino politician who served as a Congressman representing the third district of Bukidnon for three consecutive terms, and is now the incumbent Senate of the Philippines Majority Leader, replacing Senator Francis Pangilinan on November 17, 2008. He was born on April 13, 1969 in Makati City, Philippines to a Spanish-Ilonggo father hailing from Bacolod City and a Bicolana mother, and was raised in the province of Bukidnon. He speaks Cebuano, Tagalog, English, and his native Ilonggo. His father is the incumbent Bukidnon Governor Jose Ma. R. Zubiri, Jr., and he is married (2005) to Audrey Tan, a former Studio 23 VJ. Audrey gave birth on June 10, 2008 to their first born Adriana, at the Makati Medical Center. Senator Zubiri is a member of the pro-administration Lakas CMD political party.

Zubiri finished elementary and high school in Colegio San Agustin-Makati. He graduated from University of the Philippines Los BaƱos with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness and is currently taking his Masters in Environment and Natural Resources Management at the University of Philippines.

After serving as chief of staff of his father, Rep. (now Bukidnon Governor) Jose Ma. R. Zubiri, Jr. from 1995-1998, he ran for the seat to be vacated by his father in the 1998 general elections representing the third district of Bukidnon. Winning easily in that election, he served his first term in the 10th Congress. He was subsequently re-elected to the Philippine House of Representatives in the 2001 and 2004 elections, serving three terms during which he passed numerous landmark laws, earning him the distinction of being named one of the most prolific legislators.

After serving as a Congressman for three-terms, he was drafted by Lakas CMD to be one of their candidates in the pro-administration Team Unity ticket in the 2007 mid-term elections.

In the final tally for the 2007 senatorial race by the Philippine Commission on Elections (Comelec), Rep. Zubirihad narrowly defeated opposition candidate Aquilino Pimentel III for the 12th and last slot in the Senate. Zubiri had a total of 11,001,730 votes against Pimentel’s 10,983,358 votes. The margin of some 18,372 votes was hotly contested, particularly the votes from the southern Philippine province of Maguindanao, where Pimentel had lost heavily to Zubiri.

Claiming the votes in Maguindanao were tainted, Pimentel petitioned the Philippine Supreme Court to invalidate the votes from Maguindanao, effectively disenfranchising a whole province. The Supreme Court voted unanimously 14 -0 against Pimentel and allowed the COMELEC (Commission on Elections) to count the votes in Zubiri’s favor. Pimentel then returned to the Supreme Court for the second time. This time, he petitioned them to issue a restraining order against the proclamation of Zubiri. After oral arguments however the High Tribunal again voted to uphold the COMELEC’s decision to proclaim Zubiri, consequently failing to grant Pimentel’s petition. The next day, July 14, 2007, Zubiri was duly proclaimed elected to the Philippine Senate. However, the Court’s judgment did not prevent Pimentel from bringing his poll protests to the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

On March 14, 2008, the Supreme Court in a 40-page decision penned by Associate Justice Minita Chico-Nazario, dismissed Aquilino Pimentel III’s petition to stop the Commission on Elections from canvassing votes from the province of Maguindanao., a definite morale booster for Senator Zubiri.

More recently, he has been advocating a more in depth study of biofuels in order to prevent food shortages all the while allowing the production of alternative clean energy and biofuels so as to lessen dependence on imported oil and allow the Philippine economy a new avenue of economic success, especially in this day and age of constant rising oil prices.

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One Comment

  1. Rodolfo D. Juan says:

    I admire Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri’s decision to resign. The senator was elected No.1 when he run for the Red Cross Board of Governors in 2009.

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