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VP Robredo ready to head united opposition groups in 2019 polls


VICE PRESIDENT Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo on Tuesday said she is ready to take on the role as the leader of opposition groups planning to unite ahead of the 2019 midterm elections. At a press briefing in Quezon City, Ms. Robredo, the opposition Liberal Party’s chairman, said she has been standing as an opposition leader, citing the instances where she voiced her statements against the policies of the Duterte administration. This time, she said, she wants to be the voice of the opposition groups united in dissent. “There are many groups that have the same beliefs. There are many groups voicing the same opinions against an issue. But because of the lack of discussion at one another, the voices are not united. And that is the role I want to take: to ensure that those voices are united so it would be listened to, to ensure that the message is understood clearly, and to urge those who believe the same sentiments to unite with us,” she said. For his part, Senator and Liberal Party president Francis N.Pangilinan said in a statement that Ms. Robredo’s declaration to lead the coalition “only formalizes what has been her role since her election into office two years ago: a stabilizing balance to those in power and their mistaken policies and their abuse of the people’s trust that put them in power.”

”Now, amid the naked rule of force, utter disrespect for life, and abandonment of the people, especially the poor, Vice President Leni is the voice of reason, calm, and sobriety”, he said. — Camille A. Aguinaldo

List of experts to study Dengvaxia cases submitted to Palace

THE LIST of experts recommended to study the Dengvaxia cases in the Philippines has been submitted to the Office of the President, Presidential Spokesperson Harry L. Roque, Jr. said on Tuesday, July 10. Mr. Roque could not reveal the names of the experts yet, but he said there are four, one each from Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, and Sri Lanka. Mr. Roque also said that Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III reported the development during the Cabinet meeting last Monday. President Rodrigo R. Duterte is expected to choose three from the list. The spokesperson, speaking in Filipino at a press briefing in Indang, Cavite, also assured that the government has the budget to invite the experts who will study the “real effect of Dengvaxia.” — Arjay L. Balinbin

OSG defends decision to drop Comelec in voting threshold case

THE OFFICE of the Solicitor General (OSG) has defended its decision to not represent the Commission on Elections (Comelec) before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) in Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo’s motion to uphold a 25% voting threshold in her ongoing election recount against losing candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. Solicitor-General Jose C. Calida, in a manifestation submitted on Friday, dropped the Comelec as its client and urged the PET to uphold its earlier April 10 resolution to impose a 50% threshold as there “is no basis to impose a 25% threshold in determining whether a vote is valid.” He added that “the Comelec has no jurisdiction over vice-presidential election contests.” Mr. Calida also asked the PET to give the Comelec 10 days to submits its comment on Ms. Robredo’s petition. Responding to criticism of the agency’s decision, the OSG said in a statement released on Tuesday that “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.” The OSG cited the Supreme Court’s ruling in Pimentel vs. Comelec which ruled, “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.” Ms. Robredo’s camp was sought for comment but did not respond as of writing. — Dane Angelo M. Enerio