Robredo asks PET to junk Calida bid to delay answering petition
The lawyers of Vice President Leni Robredo have asked the Supreme Court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to reject a third bid by Solicitor General Jose Calida to delay his answer to her petition challenging a PET decision that could cost her votes in the ongoing recount of ballots cast in the 2016 vice presidential elections.
The Vice President had petitioned the PET to quash its decision applying the 50-percent shading rule in the recount.
As solicitor general, Calida represents the Commission on Elections (Comelec), which had allowed a 25-percent shading in ballots, a rule that Robredo wanted to be applied in the recount.
The PET directed the Comelec and Calida on April 24 to comment in 10 days on Robredo’s petition seeking to junk the PET’s April 10 decision applying the 50-percent shading rule in the recount of votes sought by Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
The son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos claimed he was cheated of the vice presidency. Calida had openly supported Marcos’ vice presidential bid in May 2016.
Romulo Macalintal, Robredo’s lawyer, said in a motion that Calida’s continued failure to comment “resulted in delay” in the PET’s action on Robredo’s petition. He said the PET had given Calida a “whopping 40 days” to submit his comment.
Robredo had claimed that adopting the 50-percent shading rule would disenfranchise those who voted for her.
Macalintal said the PET could already render judgment since there was no question on the “authenticity and genuineness” of the Comelec resolution on the shading of ballots.
Calida had twice asked the PET to extend the deadline to submit his comment. The first deadline was June 11 and the second was June 26. He sought another extension to July 11. —WITH A REPORT FROM JOSEPH SEBASTIAN JAVIER
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