By Raymund Antonio
The legal team of Vice President Leni Robredo has asked the Supreme Court to order the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to file its own comment on the shading threshold for the electoral protest she is facing.
Lawyer Romulo Macalintal and his co-counsel Bernadette Sardillo filed an 11-page urgent motion with the SC to give the poll body five days to comment on their appeal to consider the 25 percent shading as valid.
The SC is acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal on the ongoing manual recount and revision of ballots in the vice presidential race.
The period is half of the 10 days requested by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to file its comment on Robredo’s appeal.
“Thus, if only to avoid any further and unnecessary delays in the resolution of the motion for reconsideration, protestee Robredo humbly asks that Comelec be directed to file its comment with a period of five days instead of the 10 days,” the motion read.
“Being mandated by no less than the 1987 Constitution to enforce and administer the conduct of elections, Comelec is best suited to confirm the threshold percentage,” it said.
Macalintal and Sardillo went on that it is the poll body that can confirm that the 25 percent threshold has been applied not only during the Random Manual Audit (RMA) but also in all election protests.
They said the issue on the implementation of the correct threshold in the election protest of ex-Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has been pending with the tribunal for more than two months.
This after Solicitor General Jose Calida, who had initially represented the Comelec as its lawyer, asked the PET thrice to extend the period for the poll body to submit its comment.
Calida filed a manifestation before the High Court that stated his position on supporting the 50 percent threshold set by PET.
He claimed that it should uphold its April 10 ruling since the tribunal “correctly ruled that it has ‘no basis to impose a 25 percent threshold in determining whether a vote is valid.’”
The Robredo camp expressed disappointment over the delays that the OSG caused on the resolution of the election case.
“We are deeply disappointed that it took the OSG 45 days to come up with a manifestation despite this being a case of public interest,” Macalintal said.
“Contrary to its claim, the OSG has delayed the resolution of this case. How long would it have taken them to confer with the Comelec on the issue?” the veteran lawyer asked.
Robredo said she was not surprised when Calida decided not to represent the poll body on the vice presidential electoral protest since he has been a staunch Marcos supporter.
“All of us know – I know it, you know it – that Calida is not only a Marcos apologist, but he is the number one Marcos supporter,” she said.
Tags: Bernadette Sardillo, Comelec, Commission on Elections, correct threshold, electoral protest, ex-Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Jose Calida, Leni Robredo, Presidential Electoral Tribunal, Romulo Macalintal, Supreme Court, threshold, unnecessary delays, vice presidential