Juan Miguel Zubiri

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Juan Miguel F. Zubiri
Senator of the Philippines
In office
July 1, 2007 – August 11, 2011
Majority Floor Leader of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
November 17, 2008 – June 30, 2010
Preceded by Francis Pangilinan
Succeeded by Vicente Sotto III
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Bukidnon's 3rd District
In office
June 30, 1998 – June 30, 2007
Preceded by Jose Ma. R. Zubiri, Jr.
Succeeded by Jose Ma. F. Zubiri III
Personal details
Born Juan Miguel Fernandez Zubiri
(1968-04-13) April 13, 1968 (age 46)
Makati City
Nationality Filipino
Political party PMP/UNA (2012–present)
Other political
Independent (2011–2012)
Lakas CMD/Lakas-Kampi CMD (1998–2011)
Spouse(s) Audrey Tan
Residence Malaybalay City, Bukidnon
Makati City
Muntinlupa City
Alma mater University of the Philippines Los Baños
Profession Businessperson
Religion Roman Catholicism

Juan Miguel "Migz" Fernandez Zubiri (born April 13, 1968) is a Filipino politician who served as a representative representing the third district of Bukidnon for three consecutive terms, and was the Senate of the Philippines Majority Leader, replacing Senator Francis Pangilinan on November 17, 2008.[1]

Zubiri announced his resignation on August 3, 2011 following allegations of poll fraud during the Senate elections in 2007.[2][3][4][5] He is the first senator to do so, since all historical resignations from the senate prior to his resignation involved senators leaving to assume other positions in government.[6]

Early life[edit]

Zubiri was born in Makati City, Philippines to a Negrense 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 Hiligaynon. His father is the incumbent Bukidnon Provincial Governor Jose Ma. R. Zubiri, Jr.


Zubiri finished elementary and high school in Colegio San Agustin-Makati. He graduated from University of the Philippines Los Baños with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness. He also earned a Master of Environment and Natural Resources Management degree from the University of the Philippines Open University.

Political career[edit]

House of Representatives, 1998-2007[edit]

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. During his first term, he was one of the members of what the media dubbed as "Spice Boys", a group of neophyte and two-term congressmen who were openly critical of President Joseph Estrada's administration. He was subsequently re-elected to the Philippine House of Representatives in the 2001 and 2004 elections.

Senate, 2007-2011[edit]

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. Zubiri 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.[7] 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,[8] 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.[9] 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,[10] 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.[11]

Electoral protest[edit]

The Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) on June 19, 2008 resolved to proceed with the election protest of Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III: "Indeed, there is reasonable ground to believe that the final outcome of the case could affect the officially proclaimed results of the 12th senatorial position in the May 14, 2007 national elections, hence, the election protest case deserves further proceedings by the tribunal."[12]


On his privilege speech in the Philippine Senate on August 3, 2011, Zubiri announced his resignation from the Senate.[2] In his speech, he said that his family was hurt by the "unfounded" accusations against him. "Without admitting any fault and with my vehement denial of the alleged electoral fraud hurled against me, I am submitting my resignation as a duly elected Senator of the Republic of the Philippines in the election for which I am falsely accused without mercy and compassion," Zubiri said in his speech. "My political detractors began calling me ugly names and dragging the name of my family in entirety. In other words, Mr. President, the trial by publicity has begun," he continued.

Recently, Zaldy Ampatuan, a suspect in the Maguindanao massacre case and suspended Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor, claimed that during the 2007 polls, the camp of then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered that votes from three senatorial candidates from the opposition in Maguindanao be transferred to Zubiri.

Senator Francis Pangilinan, a member of the SET likewise refused to comment on what the next procedure is for the vacancy left by Zubiri. "Let's just wait for developments if any," he said.[13]

On August 11, Aquilino Pimentel III was proclaimed Senator of the Philippines.

Other Positions Held[edit]


  • Biofuels Act
  • The Magna Carta for Private School Teachers
  • Act Providing for a Magna Carta of Students
  • Act Instituting the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, Repealing Republic Act No. 6425, as Amended
  • Rent Control Law
  • AFP Rate Base Pay Increase
  • Wildlife Conservation Act
  • Renewable Energy Act
  • Cooperative Code of the Philippines



External links[edit]

Preceded by
Francis Pangilinan
Majority leader of the Senate of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Vicente Sotto
Preceded by
Jose Ma. R. Zubiri, Jr.
Representative, 3rd District of Bukidnon
Succeeded by
Jose Ma. R. Zubiri III