Robredo criticizes SolGen for backing ‘baseless’ VP poll protest

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 07 2020 07:53 PM

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MANILA — Vice-President Leni Robredo on Saturday criticized Solicitor-General Jose Calida for backing defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.’s election protest, which she said undermined democracy.

Robredo, in an interview on Teleradyo, said Calida should not use the Office of the Solicitor-General to show loyalty to the Marcoses. 

“Sana yung personal loyalty ni Sec. Calida sa mga Marcos, hindi na sana niya dinadamay yung opisina niya kasi may implikasyon ito sa ating demokrasya. Pangalawa, [Commission of Elections] na nga ang nagsasabi na walang failure of elections sa Mindanao pero pinipilit pa rin,” she said. 

(The Office of the Solicitor-General should not be used for Calida’s personal loyalty to the Marcoses because this has implications on our democracy. Comelec itself announced that there was no failure of elections in Mindanao but Marcos’ camp still insists there was.) 

“Alam ko na alam nila na talagang hindi sila nanalo sa eleksyon. Parang nakikita natin ngayon sa Amerika na repeat performance ito ng 2016 sa atin,” she added. 

(I know that they know they did not win the elections. What happened in 2016 here seems to be happening in the US Presidential Elections.) 

Marcos had wanted to annul the elections in 3 Mindanao provinces, a move opposed by the side of Robredo, who argued that the Presidential Electoral Tribunal’s (PET) initial recount, which saw Robredo’s lead increase by 15,000, should be enough to junk the whole protest.

Robredo said many Filipinos believe the lies hurled against her camp regarding the 2016 elections, but she said she could not blame them. 

“Ang kawawa dito, una, yung mga taong nagpapasuweldo sa kanya. Pangalawa, yung mga taong napapaniwala nila sa kasinungalingan at marami yun. Hindi mo naman ma-blame yung mga naniniwala kasi iba yung fine-feed na information sa kanila,” said Robredo. 

(First, I feel sorry for the taxpayers. Same to those who believe the lies. We cannot blame them, because the information they are being fed is different.)

Filipino leaders should instead focus on the efforts to mitigate the COVID-19 crisis in the country and help the residents affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Rolly.

“Para sa akin, andami-dami nang problema na kinakaharap ng ating bayan na dapat sana sa mga problema na ito mas unifying yung mga opisyal ng pamahalaan, mas naghahanap ng mga paraan para magkakatuwang sa mga problema . . . Pero ang inaasikaso eh yung protest na walang basehan. Yun ang nakakalungkot,” Robredo said. 

(We are facing so many problems now, and I hope the government is more focused on unifying us, looking for ways to be a part of the solution. Instead, they want to deal with a baseless protest. That makes me sad.)

The Comelec earlier said all pleas to declare failure of elections in 3 Mindanao provinces which Marcos was disputing have been dismissed.

The poll body made this report to the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), in response to a directive to comment on Marcos’ election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.

The Comelec also disagreed with the OSG that the PET can declare failure of elections. 

The poll body said the declaration of failure of elections and the holding of special elections belong to its exclusive jurisdiction, not the PET’s.