Macalintal calls Robredo ‘presumptive’ VP
Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal on Thursday said Camarines Sur Representative Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo is the country’s “presumptive vice president” as she is leading the tally of votes in the vice presidential race.
“Kami naman, ang sinasabi naman namin na si Leni, siya naman ang presumptive vice president. Kasi ang presumptive president ay kung sino ang lamang. Kaya sinasabi namin na dahil sa lamang si Leni, siya ang presumptive vice president,” Macalintal said in a radio interview.
(We say that Leni is the presumptive vice president. The presumptive president has the highest number of votes. And because Leni is leading, she is the presumptive vice president.)
Macalintal, who is representing Robredo in the Congress’ canvassing of votes for president and vice president at the House of Representatives, cited the case of presidential frontrunner Rodrigo Duterte, who is being referred to as “presumptive President-elect.”
However, former Commission on Elections chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., a counsel for Robredo’s closest political rival Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., said it was “presumptuous” for Macalintal to make such claim, as the son and namesake of the late dictator has not yet conceded defeat.
Brillantes noted that Duterte can be called presumptive President and clear winner in the presidential race because his closest rivals have already conceded defeat to him, which, he said, was not the case for the vice presidency.
“Duterte can legitimately be referred to as presumptive not simply because he is leading the unofficial count but due to the fact that his adversaries have already publicly conceded—a situation that is not applicable to VP candidate Robredo. Robredo’s lawyer is therefore presumptuous in claiming that his client should also be referred to as presumptive, even with her measly lead in an unofficial count,” Brillantes said in a statement.
“Presumptive winner is a new concoction and used for the first time in the May 2016 elections not only because of the wide margin of presidential candidate Duterte’s victory but more so because such victory has been accepted by all of his opponents except deceased Roy Señeres,” he added.
But Brillantes said he would be the first to congratulate Robredo should the Congress proclaim her as the winner in the vice presidential race.
Robredo was leading Marcos by more than 200,000 votes in the unofficial tally of votes and at the close of the first day of Congress canvassing. RAM
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