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Robredo camp advises OSG to deal with huge case backlog, not focus on VP.

By Raymund Antonio

The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo insisted much work has to be done by Office of the Solicitor General even as the top government lawyer's office refuted her claim of case backlogs.

"Whether you call it a 'backlog' or not, the point remains: you have a lot of other work to do," Robredo's spokesperson and lawyer Barry Gutierrez said.

"So why are you meddling in a DOJ (Department of Justice) investigation that is so clearly out of your mandate?" Gutierrez asked.

In her weekly radio show, Robredo called out Solicitor General Jose Calida for the more than a million backlog of cases in his office following his participation in the sedition complaint filed by police against her and other critics of the government.

"There are many reasons why the OSG is part of the complaint. But it is not explained why the OSG is attending to it given the several cases," Robredo said in Filipino.

"They are focusing on lies, the star witness is also a liar, but they choose to believe that witness. They have so many backlogs that they are not working on," she further said.

The Vice President accused Calida of lawyering for the Marcos family.

But Calida's office denied this as it explained Robredo was "ill-advised and bereft of knowledge of the functions and internal workings of the OSG."

"The OSG is not a court of law which is mandated to resolve cases. The number of pending cases that the OSG currently handles cannot, in any way, translate to 'backlog,'" a statement from the OSG read.

"As they should have known, the OSG is the principal law office of the Government, its agencies, and instrumentalities. Its main function is to render legal services, which includes representing its client-agencies before courts and quasi-judicial bodies," it added.

Hence, the OSG referred the backlog as a "mischaracterization of the actual status of the cases."

Last July 18, the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group filed sedition and other criminal complaints against Robredo and 35 other respondents over the viral "The Real Narcolist" videos.

The police complaint stemmed from the testimonies by Peter Joemel Advincula, the hooded man "Bikoy" who linked President Duterte's family and allies to the illegal drug trade.

Calida's office was found to have participated in preparing Advincula's affidavit when the PNP-CIDG filed the complaint before the DOJ.

The OSG disputed Robredo's claim that Calida was lawyering for the Marcoses.

"The OSG's participation in Bikoy's affidavit is not in any way linked to the Marcos but the Office is merely rendering its legal services to the PNP-CIDG, as one of its clients," it said.

In response, Gutierrez also chided the government top lawyer for simply referring to the Vice President as "Mrs. Robredo."

"Oh, and while we all know you do not like her, it is still Vice President Robredo," he said.

Read more: OSG assures: No backlog of cases


Atty. Barry Gutierrez (FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN)

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Jul 30, 2019
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