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VP to SolGen: Focus on huge case backlog

/ 05:27 AM July 29, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday slammed Solicitor General Jose Calida, saying he should focus on addressing the more than a million backlog of cases in his office, rather than meddling in complaints that targeted critics of the administration.

Speaking in her weekly radio show, Robredo said Calida and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) had a lot of explaining to do, after it was discovered that it had a hand in the sedition raps filed by the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) against her, opposition lawmakers and Church leaders.

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‘They instead work on lies’

“But what has not been explained is why they were working on this when they have so many backlog of cases,” the Vice President said. “They instead work on lies, with a star witness who is a liar.”

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Earlier reports revealed that OSG employees assisted in the drafting of the affidavit of principal witness Peter Joemel Advincula, who had accused the opposition of orchestrating the video series “Ang Totoong Narcolist,” where he acted as the hooded “Bikoy.” The six-part series linked President Rodrigo Duterte, his family and his associates to the illegal drug trade.

In a statement, the OSG admitted its participation in the complaint, but defended that it was within its mandate and legal duty to serve and assist its clients, which include the PNP-CIDG.

But it was also revealed that Calida’s office is currently flooded with unresolved cases. After receiving an unprecedented 1.3 million cases in 2017, it remains burdened by a backlog of 1.06 million cases.

Robredo’s camp had earlier assailed the OSG’s role in the sedition complaint, which they said was calculated to politically harass the Vice President.

“I think they still have to explain … why in this particular case they chose to participate? And single it out from all the hundreds of other cases?” said lawyer Barry Gutierrez, Robredo’s spokesperson.

“When they filed it, they made it appear as if it were an ordinary criminal investigation … [But with] the alleged involvement of the OSG … it appears that there really is a different agenda with this complaint,” he added.

Robredo lamented that Calida’s actions were placing the entire institution in a bad light.

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“It’s sad because there are many good workers in that office. Their leader is ruining their office’s image,” she said.

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TAGS: Ang Totoong Narcolist, Bikoy, Jose Calida, Leni Robredo, Peter Joemel Advincula, sedition case
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