MANILA, Philippines – Vice President-elect Leni Robredo doesn’t seem bothered at all by any hiccups preceding the start of her term, even if her party and 2016 standard-bearer failed to submit the required post-election documents on time.
“I’m sure naman na iyong partido ay mag-susubmit (I’m sure the party will submit) before June 30,” said Robredo in a chance interview with reporters in Leyte on Friday, June 10.
Robredo was asked about the failure of the Liberal Party (LP) to meet the June 8 deadline in submitting its Statement on Campaign Expenses (SOCE). The party’s losing standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II also failed to submit the document on time.
LP asked for a two-week extension from the Commission on Elections.
“Ang mahalaga naman dito according to the rules na makapag-submit before June 30 kasi kung hindi siya mag-submit before June 30 talagang hindi kami makakaupo (What’s important here is that according to the rules, it’s okay as long as you submit before June 30 otherwise you really can’t take the post),” added Robredo.
Robredo’s counsel for the canvassing of votes, Romulo Macalintal, said as much in a statement released on Friday.
“With or without the filing of the statement of contributions and expenditures of the Liberal Party which nominated VP-elect Leni Robredo, the latter can still assume the office of the Vice President since she had already filed her own SOCE,” said Macalintal.
The lawyer added, “The will of the people cannot be set aside on mere misdoing or omission of the political party, which nominated a winning candidate.”
Macalintal argued that the section of the Republic Act 7166, which says a political party’s failure to file a SOCE could affect a winning candidate, was “of doubtful constitutionality.”
“In a word, their right to assume the offices for which they were elected is not dependent on whether their parties had filed the parties’ SOCE but should be reckoned from the candidates’ having filed their own individual SOCE,” he added.
Robredo filed her SOCE on time. She is the top spender among the vice presidential candidates.
Responding to questions, the outgoing Camarines Sur representative downplayed worries that she would have a debt to pay in exchange for campaigndonations.
“Kung titingnan natin iyong mga nag-donate sa atin, wala namang favors na kailangan. Naging very particular kami niyan before kami magtanggap ng donations (If we look at those who donated, you’ll know they didn’t ask for favors. We were very particular in accepting donations),” she said.
Robredo is set to take her oath of office on June 30. – Rappler.com