Robredo: SolGen should side with Comelec in ballot threshold plea

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Vice President Leni Robredo and Solicitor General Jose Calida. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 10) Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday said the government's top lawyer should protect the interests of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the ongoing ballot recount.

"Hindi naman hinihingi 'yung kanyang personal na pakiramdam tungkol sa bagay na 'yun, dapat bilang abogado 'yung nirerepresent niya 'yung interes ng kanyang kliyente na 'yung Comelec," she said in a press briefing Tuesday.

[Translation: No one is asking for his personal stance on the issue. He should be representing Comelec.]

But the vice president said she is not surprised with Solicitor General Jose Calida's decision, which will supposedly favor the camp of poll protester Bongbong Marcos.

Calida on Friday asked the Supreme Court, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to affirm its earlier decision to reject a proposal to consider as valid those ballots in the vice presidential polls where only 25 percent of the oval space are shaded.

"Si Calida ay hindi lang Marcos apologist pero number one na Marcos supporter. Pero sa 'kin, 'yung papel niya doon sa PET case, hindi naman bilang party. 'Yung papel ng kaniyang opisina, bilang abogado ng Comelec," she said.

[Translation: Calida is not only a Marcos apologist but also the number one Marcos supporter. His role in the PET case is not a party, but Comelec's lawyer.]

Robredo warned that the effect of the PET granting Calida's manifestation would not only affect her but the entire nation.

READ: VP Robredo to PET: Use 25% threshold percentage in vote recount

The PET earlier denied Robredo's motion saying it's not aware of any Comelec resolution that states the applicability of a 25 percent threshold to consider a vote valid. However, Robredo said the letter stating this threshold was released on September 2016.

Robredo to Marcos: Stop lying

The vice president also called on Marcos to stop with the lies, after his camp sought for a probe into an outing between revisors of the PET.

"Alam niya 'yung totoo. At ang pakiusap ko sana mahinto na 'yung pagsisinungaling niya," she said.

[Translation: He knows the truth. And I ask of him to stop with the lies.]

She also said Marcos should concentrate on answering other allegations instead of using the case to appear in public.

Robredo added the revisors need not leave their posts, as the trip was a way to ease tensions between the two camps.

"Kung purpose noon ay para ma-ease 'yung tensions sa loob, tingin ko dapat magpasalamat pa tayo sa kanila na may ganoon na initiative," he said.

[Translation: If the purpose is to ease tensions inside, we should even be thankful.]

Marcos' lawyer Atty. Vic Rodriguez claimed some of the revisors were in a pool party in Pansol, Calamba in Laguna. Among those who allegedly joined were the head revisors and personnel of PET, as well as a certain Osmundo Abuyuan, which was said to be a revisor of Vice President Robredo.

The recount began on April 2, almost two years after Marcos lost to Robredo by 263,473 votes in the 2016 vice presidential race.