Philippine economy

De Lima joins Robredo’s legal team

Bea Cupin
De Lima joins Robredo’s legal team
Before formally assuming her Senate seat, the ex-justice secretary and former election lawyer will be Robredo's consultant

MANILA, Philippines – Before she formally assumes her post as Philippine senator, former justice secretary Leila de Lima takes on another role: as “overall consultant” of vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo’s legal team.

De Lima, who was proclaimed senator last week, joins Robredo’s team as Congress prepares to canvass votes from the 2016 elections.

The incoming senator’s inclusion in the Robredo legal team was confirmed by head lead counsel Romulo Macalintal

It is Congress, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers, that will proclaim the winning President and Vice President.

While almost all presidential candidates have conceded to incoming president Rodrigo Duterte, the vice presidential race is hotly contested.

Macalintal, citing the count from Certificates of Canvass made available on the Commission on Elections website, said Robredo should already be referred to as the “presumptive Vice President.”

By their count, Robredo has a slim lead of 200,000 votes over her closest rival Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Marcos has repeatedly accused the Robredo camp of cheating.

Marcos’ lawyer George Garcia said they intend to challenge each certificate of canvass that will be scrutinized by Congress. But Macalintal slammed the allegations, saying Marcos does not have proof of anomalies that could have affected the vote count.

De Lima, prior to joining government, was an election lawyer. – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.