Solicitor General Jose Calida continue to insist not lawyering for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) regarding the issue of what threshold the shades on ballots should be to be considered as valid in the ongoing recount for the 2016 vice presidential polls.
“As the People’s Tribune, it is the Solicitor General’s duty to present to the Presidential Electoral Tribunal the position he perceives to be in the best interest of the Republic, notwithstanding the stance of his client, specifically the COMELEC, on the issue,” he said in a statement on Tuesday (July 10).
Calida reminded that “the Supreme Court acknowledged that ‘the Solicitor General may, as it has in instances, take a position adverse and contrary to that of the Government on the reasoning that it is incumbent upon him to present to the court what he considers would legally uphold the best interest of the government although it may run counter to a client’s position.”
He reacted to order of the PET to file a comment on behalf of the Comelec over the motion for reconsideration of Vice President Leni Robredo who is asking that the threshold be set at 25 percent.
The PET has set the threshold at 50 percent for the ongoing recount sought by the election protest of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. who claimed being cheated of his win in the 2016 polls.
Calida has already filed a manifestation saying he is acting as People’s Tribune and that the Comelec should be to one to file its own comment over the issue.
On the other hand, he believes the PET should “affirm its Resolution dated April 10, 2018 declaring that it has ‘no basis to impose a 25% threshold in determining whether a vote is valid’.”
“On the issue of the threshold that will be used to determine the validity of the votes, it is the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) which should determine the threshold, pursuant to its rule-making power under the Constitution,” Calida pointed out.
“The Constitution states that the PET has the sole authority to judge all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the President or Vice-President and may promulgate its rules for the purpose,” he cited.