Koko vows ‘all-out war’ vs electoral fraud come elections

SENATOR Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III vowed that he will fight electoral fraud in 2013 mid-term elections by exposing mechanics of dagdag-bawas that benefited former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri in  2007 polls.

“Consistent with my principled stand against election cheats, I have made a painful decision to bolt from the United Nationalist Alliance founded by my ninong, former President Joseph Estrada and whose coalition my very own party, PDP-Laban is a member of,” Pimentel said.

“Painful as it is, I cannot – in all conscience – run in the same senatorial ticket with Migz Zubiri, who became the biggest beneficiary of the fraud perpetrated in the 2007 elections and who enjoyed tremendously the benefits of a stolen office,” Pimentel emphasized.

“I cannot talk about electoral reform while I stand on the same stage with the same person who held on to the proceeds of the crime of electoral fraud for four long years and two months,” the senator said.

Pimentel explained that while his decision to leave the UNA “can fatally jeopardize my chances for re-election as Senator in 2013, I am prepared to lose this election, rather than not remain true to what I passionately believe in.”

Pimentel also said that he want to “fight corruption through the strengthening of the justice system.”

“I feel most passionately about this because I have been a victim of electoral injustice,” he said.

The senator from Mindanao said that in the remaining months of his shortened term, he is “personally committed to collaborate with similarly-minded colleagues to make our electoral process more resistant to corruption and causing the prosecution and jailing of those who corrupted the electoral expression of the sovereignty of our people.”

Pimentel said that part of his crusade against election fraud was the filing of a case for electoral sabotage against former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and former Commission on Elections chairman Benjamin Abalos for the cheating which marred the 2007 senatorial elections.

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