Palace says SolGen acting for public interest in backing Marcos poll protest

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 10 2020 02:37 PM | Updated as of Nov 10 2020 04:35 PM

Solicitor General Jose Calida, July 15, 2016. ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — Malacañang said Tuesday that the government's lead lawyer had acted for the "interest of our people" when he sided with former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos in his poll protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.

Solicitor General Jose Calida, who had campaigned for Marcos in 2016 race, submitted a motion that backed the former lawmaker's bid to take off Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen off the poll protest against Robredo. 

“I suppose, ang motion had to be filed because it is the interest of our people na malaman natin kung sino talaga ang nagwagi para sa Bise Presidente,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. 

(The motion had to be filed because it is the interest of our people to know who really won as Vice President.) 

“He is the statutory counsel for the government, and as statutory counsel, he has an interest in knowing who actually, who legally won in the Vice Presidential election. We have an interest as a nation to find out if there is merit in fact in that election protest,” he added. 

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Marcos earlier claimed Calida was “not a supporter.” But in 2016, Calida headed Alyansang Duterte-Bongbong, which pushed for the Duterte-Marcos tandem in the 2016 presidential elections.
 
Marcos wanted Leonen off his poll protest because of “scathing pronouncements” against the hero's burial of his father and namesake, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. 

The OSG invoked its mandate as “tribune of the people” to justify siding with Marcos instead of a government body like the Commission on Election. 

The poll body earlier said that all pleas to declare failure of elections in 3 Mindanao provinces where Marcos claimed fraud had been dismissed. 

Robredo's lawyers on Monday told Marcos to "stop acting like a spoiled brat" and "face reality" that the Vice President won "twice."

Marcos lost to Robredo in 2016 by some 263,000 votes. 

Robredo’s lead over former Marcos grew by some 15,000 votes after an initial recount in the election protest, the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) said last year. 

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