Manila Bulletin - Roque defends Sol-Gen Calida’s petition on Marcos poll case

10 November 2020

By Genalyn Kabiling | Manila Bulletin

The public deserves to know the true winner of the 2016 vice presidential race, Malacañang said Tuesday after the Office of the Solicitor General sought the removal of a Supreme Court judge from the election protest case filed by former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque has defended Solicitor General Jose Calida’s latest petition before the Supreme Court, saying the office serves as the counsel for the people.

Marcos filed on Monday a motion before the Supreme Court, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal, to compel Associate Justice Marvic Leonen to inhibit from his poll protest against Vice President Leni Robredo, citing his supposed bias against his family.

The OSG later made a similar petition against Leonen, citing his alleged delay in resolving the poll protest as well as his supposed bias and hatred against the Marcoses. Both Marcos and the OSG have reportedly asked the PET to re-raffle the case to another justice.

“Well sa batas po na bumuo ng Office of the Solicitor General, they are actually counsels for the people ‘no and I suppose ang motion had to be filed because it is the interest of our people na malaman natin kung sino talaga ang nagwagi sa eleksiyon para sa Bise Presidente (Under the law creating the Office of the Solicitor General, they are actually counsels for the people and I suppose the motion had to be filed because it is in the interest of the people to know who really won in the election for vice president),” Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

Roque also made clear that the President was not involved in Calida’s move seeking Leonen’s inhibition from the poll protest against Robredo. He said the President does not micromanage and instead lets government officials perform their duties.

“Hindi naman po ganoon ang ating Presidente (The President is not like that). He does not micromanage,” he said.

“Hinahayaan po niya ang kaniyang mga Gabinete na bigyan ng atensiyon at umakto sa mga bagay-bagay na nasa ilalim ng kanilang mga ahensiya (He lets his Cabinet members give attention and act on things under their agencies),” he added.

Robredo won in the 2016 vice presidential elections but rival Marcos has contested the poll results over alleged fraud.

President Duterte has previously expressed doubts about the capacity of Robredo to lead the country. He even offered to step down if Marcos wins in his election protest agains Robredo.