Journal Online - Is Leni’s lawyer pulling a fast one?

7 February 2018

By Marlon Purificacion | Journal Online 

FORMER Rep. Maria Leonor Robredo is not willing to withdraw her pending motions before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).

Robredo’s reticence was assailed by the camp of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. a day after he signed a joint manifestation “withdrawing all and any pending motions relative to his election protest.”

According to Marcos’ spokesperson, Atty. Vic Rodriguez, the reason why Mrs. Robredo has no intention of withdrawing her pending motions was because she did not sign the joint motion that her lawyer presented to the media.

Rodriguez also noted that in his joint motion, only the name of Robredo’s counsel, Atty. Romulo Macalintal, appeared on the document.

“A joint manifestation is a major pleading and it cannot be done through counsel alone. It should also be signed by the client because it needs his or her conformity. Since Mrs. Robredo did not sign the pleading together with her lawyer, it is obvious that she has no intention to withdraw her motions,” Rodriguez said.

He also pointed out that the absence of Robredo’s signature puts into question her sincerity to hasten the pace of the electoral process. It likewise casts doubt on the authority of Macalintal who signed the motion. Robredo could later on even disown the motion because it was made without her conformity.

“Without Mrs. Robredo’s signature, the motion is a mere scrap of paper and may be later disowned by her as having been signed without her authority. Tila gustong makalinlang na naman,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez also questioned the joint motion prepared by Macalintal saying the same only covered pending motions and not future motions that may delay the proceedings. He said Marcos’ JOINT MANIFESTATION was more sincere because it covered both present and future motions in the election proceedings.

“Sinasabi ni Atty. Macalintal na umatras kami pero kung babasahin mo ang joint motion nila, puro pending motion lang ang gusto nila i-withdraw. Pero kami, lahat ng motion i-wiwithdraw namin pati future motions that may delay the proceedings. It shows lack of good faith. Bakit sila umatras?” Rodriguez remarked.

Rodriguez also took exception to the assertion made by Macalintal in his JOINT MOTION that Marcos has a pending “Partial Motion for Reconsideration” dated December 4, 2017 asking the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) to reconsider its earlier ruling allowing them to secure soft copies of the ballot images.

Rodriguez pointed out that the Partial Motion for Reconsideration had already been resolved by the Tribunal in its Resolution dated January 10, 2018.

“Mukhang hindi masyado pinag-aaralan ni Atty. Macalintal ang kaso ng kanyang kliyente kasi dapat alam nya na naresolve na yan. At dapat alam din nya na sila ang may mga pending motions sa PET,” Rodriguez stated.

He also emphasized that if Macalintal was indeed serious about withdrawing all motions, he should have done it through the official route and not in a fast food restaurant.

“Signing a major pleading in a pizza restaurant shows an utter lack of respect for the judicial process. There is a proper way to do things and this involves going to the law office of your opposing counsel and handing over the proper documents to them,” Rodriguez said.

This is the reason, he pointed out, why the Marcos camp went to the law office of Macalintal and his co-counsel Ma. Bernadette Sardillo located at Ortigas Avenue in Pasig City. They went there first thing yesterday (Wednesday) to give them the complete set of copies of the joint manifestation signed by Marcos and his counsel, George Garcia, together with the corresponding cover letter.