OSG says pending cases not ‘backlog’; Robredo camp claims that’s still a lot of work
MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) on Monday disputed the claims by Vice President Leni Robredo that they have more than a million “backlog” cases, saying that it was a “mischaracterization” of the cases’ status.
This was after Robredo slammed Solicitor General Jose Calida on Sunday for supposedly meddling in sedition complaints against her and 35 other members of the opposition, clergy, and law offices.
“They relied upon figures under the COA reports in 2017 and 2018. However, these figures do not refer to cases that have not been acted upon by the OSG. These figures simply refer to cases which are still pending before various courts and quasi-judicial bodies,” OSG’s statement said.
“Hence, the term ‘backlog’ is a mischaracterization of the actual status of the cases,” it added.
According to OSG, they are not a court which may have backlog or pending cases to study and decide on.
“The OSG is not a court of law which is mandated to resolve cases,” OSG insisted.
“As they should have known, the OSG is the principal law office of the Government, its agencies, and instrumentalities. Its main function is to render legal services, which includes representing its client-agencies before courts and quasi-judicial bodies,” it added.
However, lawyer Barry Gutierrez, Robredo’s spokesperson, insisted that these over one million cases are still pending work — regardless if it is called ‘backlog’ or some other term.
“Whether you call it a ‘backlog’ or not, the point remains: you have a lot of other work to do,” Gutierrez said in a separate statement shortly after OSG released its version.
“So why are you meddling in a DOJ investigation that is so clearly out of your mandate?” he asked.
Last July 18, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) filed sedition complaints against Robredo and others for their alleged role in the Ang Totoong Narcolist series. The complaints banked on testimonies by Peter Joemel Advincula, who claims to be the hooded man Bikoy.
However, an ABS-CBN News report traced the document to the OSG. PNP Chief General Oscar Albayalde admitted that they sought the help of OSG, but did not take part in the drafting of the document. Albayalde, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, and OSG said there is nothing wrong with it.
In the video clips uploaded online, Advincula claimed that some of President Rodrigo Duterte’s relatives and allies are involved in the drug trade. He sought the help of church leaders and lawyers after he revealed himself.
However, last May 23, Advincula appeared in a PNP press conference saying that the videos were masterminded by the Liberal Party, in a plot to oust Duterte and install Robredo as president.
Aside from the OSG’s supposed involvement in the sedition case, Gutierrez also chided OSG for simply addressing Robredo as “Mrs.”
“Oh, and while we all know you do not like her, it is still VICE PRESIDENT Robredo,” he said./ac
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