No secret meeting; just ‘malicious’ post
Comelec Chair Andres Bautista on Thursday denied he secretly met with Vice President Leni Robredo, as suggested in a viral video on Facebook.
Bautista said the “secret meeting” was actually a dinner party attended by more than 30 people, including US Ambassador Philip Goldberg, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and members of the diplomatic corps. There, he briefly met and greeted the Vice President.
“There is malice on the part of whoever is circulating the video,” he said in a phone interview on Thursday.
A video posted on the Facebook page Dayaang Matuwid alleged that the meeting took place on Tuesday night, hours after the Supreme Court ordered Robredo’s camp to comment on the electoral protest of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
The video included a text in the end: “As the electoral case is still pending in the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), the Filipino people would like to know: Is it legal for the Comelec chair to meet and favor the [alleged] fraudulent party?”
The alleged meeting happened at Urdaneta Apartments in Makati, with the video showing photos of Robredo arriving at the venue, and footage of her and Bautista leaving the building four minutes apart.
The video did not show footage of an actual meeting or photographs of the two officials together.
“Basically, I just greeted her, ‘Good evening, madame Vice President,’ and that was it,” Bautista said.
He said it was Congress that proclaimed Robredo as the winner in the vice presidential race, not the Comelec.
He said he is studying possible legal measures against the netizen who uploaded the video.
Robredo, for her part, described the video as “very malicious.”
“Perhaps it would have been better, if there was a secret meeting, we were seen talking, because nothing like that happened,” she said.
Robredo said she and her daughters attended the dinner party last July 12, and that indeed, she saw Bautista there but they just exchanged “Hi’s.”
She said she could not remember if they exchanged pleasantries when she arrived or as she was leaving the party.
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