WHATEVER his motive, Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri certainly made political history when he suddenly resigned his Senate seat, with two more years remaining of his fraud-tainted term.

There have been senatorial resignations in the past, either to accept other government positions or for health reasons.

But never for the reason Sen. Zubiri quit:

He could no longer take the incessant rap that he cheated in the 2007 senatorial election.

The straw that broke the camel’s back, he said in an emotional speech announcing his resignation, were the revelations that all the senatorial candidates of the past administration, including Zubiri, won in Maguindanao by a landslide because the election results were rigged in favor of the party in power.

But had he known early on what he knew now, would he have quit?

He wrestled with his conscience and hang on waiting for evidence of cheating.

So when former Comelec official Lintang Bedol and detained Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan blew the whistle, that did it for Zubiri.

But by doing so, Zubiri tacitly conceded that indeed there was cheating in Maguindanao; ergo, the winning Team Unity candidates should likewise quit.

But Zubiri made his own personal decision, against even the advice of his colleagues and supporters who said he would be committing a political hara kiri.

And yet he took the plunge, first for his peace of mind, and second, to shield his family from public scorn and ridicule.

Say what you will, but Zubiri did the right thing.

Nobody ever resigns in Philippine politics.

And the Bukidnon senator wants to go against the grain, and not hold on for dear life (kapit tuko) forever.

Perhaps he will start a new breed of politicians who regard public office as a public trust.

When that happens, more idealistic young men and women will aspire to become public servants.

Today, we don’t have a pretty picture of the Philippines.

There’s widespread despair about the state of affairs and too many elected officials are dipping their dirty fingers in the public coffers.

This can change, not in a heartbeat, but step by step.

We need more Migzes in our midst.