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Robredo counters: OSG comment on voting threshold “has no basis”

Leni Robredo

VICE-PRESIDENT Maria Lourdes “Leni” G. Robredo, through her chief legal counsel Romulo B. Macalintal, has urged the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) to disregard the Office of the Solicitor General’s (OSG) comment on her motion to uphold a 25% voting threshold in the ongoing election recount against losing candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr.

Solicitor-General Jose C. Calida in a manifestitation submitted to the PET last July 6, invoked his right to act as “the People’s Tribune” and dropped the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as its client in the case, calling on the tribunal to instead uphold its 50% threshold as it would not disenfranchise voters.

Mr. Macalintal, however, in his 13-page manifestation dated July 13 and released on Monday, said “the OSG has no personal knowledge to conclude that the application of the 50% threshold will not disenfranchise the votes.”

According to him, “(A)t no instance has OSG, any of its representatives and/or lawyers attended and observed the ongoing revision, recount, and re-appreciation of ballots.”

Sought for comment, the OSG’s spokesperson, lawyer Hector G. Calilung, told BusinessWorld in an email, “We don’t have a copy of the manifestation yet.” — Dane Angelo M. Enerio

Another case filed against Garin, 37 others over alleged Dengvaxia death

FORMER HEALTH secretary Janette L. Garin on Monday was slapped with a new criminal case over the alleged Dengvaxia-related death of 11-year old Michael V. Tablate, the 11th complaint filed against her and several others by family members of alleged victims with help from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).

Ms. Garin, several other government officials, as well as officers of drug manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur, Inc. and distributor Zuellig Pharma Corporation were charged for their alleged involvement in the government’s P3-billion anti-dengue vaccination program.

The latest complaint charged the respondents with reckless imprudence leading to homicide and with violations of Republic Act (RA) No. 9745 (Anti-Torture Act) and RA No. 7394 (Consumer Act of the Philippines.)

PAO chief Persida V. Rueda-Acosta told reporters in an interview on Monday the young Tablate showed symptoms exhibited from the agency’s previous autopsies such as «bleeding, edema, (and) hemorrhages of the internal organs.»

She added three more cases would be filed in the future following the PAO’s autopsies on a total of 67 alleged victims out of the «more than 200» it has recorded, with six more still awaiting autopsy.

Sought for comment, Ms. Garin told BusinessWorld in a text message, “There is nothing new in the charges being brought up by PAO.”

According to her, “All the findings of PAO have been bereft of any causal relationship with Dengvaxia and sometimes even Dengue.” — Dane Angelo M. Enerio