Marcos camp hits ‘lazy’ Macalintal over protest dismissal issue
MANILA, Philippines – The camp of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos has slammed Vice President Leni Robredo’s lawyer for being “lazy,” saying that the dismissal of their electoral protest should only be based on merits.
Marcos Lawyer Vic Rodriguez said it appears that his counterpart, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, is merely leaning on the withdrawal of the protest.
“Talk about freeloading. Inferring from his statement, the counsel of Mrs. Robredo has grown lazy. It has become apparent that he wants us to do his job for him,” Rodriguez said in a message to INQUIRER.net.
“The dismissal of a pending action should be based on merit and not on mere empty politicking or puerile sound bytes. Dream on, Mr. Macalintal!” he added.
Earlier, Macalintal said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum that the best option for Marcos would be to withdraw his protest, setting up a “graceful exit” for him.
Doing so would help Robredo focus on her new task, as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), as well as aid the Supreme Court which is sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).
“[To me], because of the very busy schedule of the Vice President, and the challenge she now faces, [pehaps] Mr. Marcos would act as a statesman …[and withdraw the] protest,” Macalintal said.
“[I do not want to speak too soon but] it’s a gentlemanly act, [this would not only help] Vice President Robredo, [but Mr. Marcos would help the] Supreme Court [as well],” he added.
Marcos in 2016 filed an electoral protest against Robredo, after losing in the 2016 presidential elections by a margin of around 280,000 votes. He insists that he was cheated, even if the initial recount by SC revealed that Robredo was able to recover at least 15,000 votes.
However, Rodriguez previously said that this figure — even if it is on Robredo’s side — should be considered significant as it is also possible for Marcos to gain votes at the later stages of the recount.
Macalintal countered Rodriguez, saying that SC should uphold Rule 65 of the PET rules, where failure to recover a substantial amount of votes is a ground for the dismissal of the protest.
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