Zubiri denies corruption allegations, plans libel suits

Former Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri has refuted allegations of corruption aimed at tarnishing his reputation and announced plans to file cyber libel cases against those spreading unsubstantiated claims.

Zubiri, whose family hails from Negros Occidental, addressed the black propaganda campaign, which emerged in the form of videos on social media, alleging ownership of luxury properties and vehicles acquired through corrupt means.

He noted that the timing of these videos coincided with his recent ouster as Senate President.

“They came out with a first set of videos two months ago, on the first attempt to unseat me. When that failed, they produced a part two video, which was released during the week of the second attempt. The timing is impeccable,” Zubiri said.

Zubiri emphasized that the campaign was an attempt to discredit his leadership. “It’s an obvious attempt to discredit my leadership and taint my name. And they’re funneling huge amounts of money into this campaign—from production to promotion,” he stated.

He firmly denied the accusations of pocketing government funds for personal luxury. “So to whoever’s spreading these lies to make it look like I’m pocketing government money to buy mansions and jets, these are totally false. I hope they’re ready because I will be filing cases and will not stop until justice prevails.”

The videos falsely claimed Zubiri owned a house in Forbes Park and various aircraft. “Walang katotohanan yan,” Zubiri declared, challenging those spreading the rumors to find a house in his name in Forbes Park. “It’s yours,” he said. “Yung bahay ko ngayon, na wala sa Forbes, ay nabili ko noong 2009 pa po. At nasa SALN (Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth) ko po iyan.”

He explained that his use of private aircraft was sometimes necessary for fulfilling his duties as a senator on a tight schedule. Regarding rumors about building a resort in Camiguin, Zubiri confirmed the project but clarified its nature. “This is not a private hideaway, and you can find the property in my SALN,” he said.

“Nagpapatayo ako ngayon doon ng maliit na resort, dahil naniniwala ako sa ganda ng Camiguin at ng Northern Mindanao, at gusto kong tumulong na gawin itong top tourist destination dito sa Pilipinas,” he explained. He added, “may kaya naman po tayo,” referencing his family’s longstanding involvement in sugar milling, pineapple farming, industrial ice, and renewable energy.

Zubiri stressed the importance of politicians having independent sources of income to avoid temptations related to public funds. “Para walang temptation sa kaban ng bayan,” he continued. He expressed pride in his clean record, recalling his refusal to partake in past government scams. “I am proud that I was never part of those PDAF and fertilizer scams in previous administrations,” he said.

Zubiri’s family hails from Bukidnon, with significant business interests in agriculture and renewable energy, reinforcing his stance on financial transparency and integrity. “May income po tayo, at nasa SALN ko po lahat iyan. And we pay all our taxes,” he said.

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