MANILA - Solicitor General Jose Calida on Tuesday dubbed as an "outright lie" the statement of Vice President Leni Robredo that he is "lawyering" for the family of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
The government's top lawyer earlier said that a US court's order to pay human rights victims during the martial law years under the Marcos regime was disadvantageous to the government.
Robredo said over the weekend Calida "seems not to be lawyering for the government but for the Marcos family."
"Her statements are outright lies. She must be confused," Calida fired back in a statement.
"Her statements demean and belittle the work the OSG and its lawyers have been doing for decades to recover ill-gotten wealth. We have always been committed to advancing the interests of the Republic, and we will continue to do so," he added.
Manila has continuously opposed participating in the US case because to do so would mean waiving its sovereign immunity, he noted.
Human rights claimants will also "get the wrong end of the deal in the case," claimed Calida.
"Their lawyer Robert Swift has sought a hefty $4.125 million in attorney’s fees out of the $13.75 million, while the rest would be divided among the 6,500 claimants, who will receive a measly $1,500 each," he said.
"How in the world can you say that is fair or just?" he added.
The government, he said, would also be required to give immunity to Vilma Bautista, an aide of former first lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos.
The Presidential Commission on Good Government, however, can only grant immunity to a witness who can provide material and relevant information or testify against a defendant in an ill-gotten wealth case, noted Calida.
“The government cannot grant immunity to Vilma Bautista. She is a principal defendant in a case currently pending before the Sandiganbayan," he said.