Marcos distances self from moves by Calida, Gadon to oust Leonen
This undated photo shows former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.
The STAR/Boy Santos, file

Marcos distances self from moves by Calida, Gadon to oust Leonen

Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - November 9, 2020 - 3:17pm

MANILA, Philippines — Former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. distanced himself from the moves to boot from the Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, whom he accused of bias and wants to inhibit from his pending poll protest.

Marcos, in a news conference on Monday, said he has not talked to Solicitor General Jose Calida about his pending poll protest and pointed out that he has his own legal team.

Calida previously asked the SC to release copies of Leonen’s Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth for the purpose of filing a quo warranto petition — the same legal challenge the government lawyer used to oust former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

The SC. which voted in 2018 to grant the quo warranto petition, has upheld its denial of Calida's request.

"I don’t know what his thinking is on the quo warranto. You will have to ask Solgen about that," Marcos said.

Aside from Calida, lawyer Larry Gadon also asked the SC for copies of Leonen’s SALN and was also denied.

Gadon —nominated as a senatorial canddiate in the 2019 elections by the Marcos-era Kilusang Bagong Lipunan — is a known supporter of Marcos. Calida supported the vice presidential bid of Marcos under the Alyansang Duterte-Bongbong (AlDuB) group in the 2016 national elections.

Marcos: I tried to stop Gadon

Marcos said Monday that he tried to stop Gadon from trying to oust Leonen. “I was telling him, not now, not now, not now until the comments from the [Commission on Elections] and OSG are released,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Marcos was referring to the two government’s offices Comments on pending issues relating to his poll protest, including whether the Presidential Electoral Tribunal can declare failure of elections without special elections.

He said he has not talked to Calida about the case, but admitted that he is “in touch” with Gadon.

Marcos continued: “I have my own legal team. I do not need to consult with the Solgen.”

He added that Calida is not his supporter, but a counsel for the government.

Leonen inhibition

Marcos on Monday morning filed an urgent motion seeking Leonen’s inhibition from his poll protest and the immediate re-raffle of the case. He accused Leonen, reportedly the member-in-charge of the petition, of favoring Vice President Leni Robredo and delaying the proceedings on the case until it becomes moot and academic.

Asked if he and Calida will “join forces” to have Leonen recuse from the poll protest, as reported by The Manila Times, Marcos replied: “Well, you should ask Solgen about what his plans are. If he does in fact move to support our motion, then it means he agrees with our arguments.”

He added that they are moving independently and do not see Calida’s moves.

Calida and Marcos

Calida has, in the past, adopted stances in favor of Marcos in the poll protest. In 2018, the solicitor general said there is no basis for the PET to apply the 25-percent threshold in determining the validity of votes—a position in stark contrast with that of the Comelec, which the OSG represented.

The OSG had also said the PET is empowered to declare the annulment of elections or a failure of elections.

Although the Comelec had the same stance, Calida went on to say in his separate comment: “In the case at bar, it is undubitable that even if the votes cast in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, and Basilan are declared null and void, there is no failure to elect to speak of. On the contrary, the ultimate winner, or the one with the majority (or plurality) of the valid votes cast, is easily determinable.”

Nullifying the votes in the three provinces will wipe out Robredo’s narrow lead over Marcos.

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