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                                                                                                           Ms. Ronadale Zapata



18 December 2005

THE election lawyer of Vice President Noli “Kabayan” De Castro yesterday vowed to resign as lawyer of the vice president if defeated vice-presidential candidate Loren Legarda can prove her claim that she could recover by over 300,000 votes from the ballots of the various municipalities of the Province of Cebu which are now being revised by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

"I'm going to resign as election lawyer of Vice-President Noli De Castro if Loren can prove without the benefit of the doubt that my client cheated by 300,000 votes in Cebu ," Atty. Romulo Macalintal said.

Macalintal then challenged Legarda to withdraw or stop her protest against De Castro in case she failed to prove her aforesaid claim that she could recover 300,000 votes from the Province of Cebu as he expressed confidence on the integrity of De Castro as a candidate who had no capability to committing massive fraud as ridiculously claimed by Legarda.

"The Vice President is not a cheater. I'm very confident that he won in an honest election by a wide margin over his contender. And most likely, his winning margin would turn out even higher after Legarda's poll protest is decided upon by the court," Macalintal added.

Records show that De Castro garnered 886,910 votes in the Province of Cebu as against Legarda's 198,372 votes or a difference of 688,538 in favor of De Castro.

"By withdrawing her protest in case of her failure to prove her baseless claim in Cebu, Legarda could at least help to ease the political tension in our country instead of fanning it with baseless and unfounded claims and accusations,"  Macalintal charged.

Macalintal also scored Legarda for relying too much on the alleged "findings" of her revisors in the Province of Cebu in the on-going revision of ballots in the PET that there were group of ballots written by one person.

"With due respect, Ms. Legarda should consult her lawyer so that she would not rely too much on the alleged "findings" of her revisors. This is so because it has been decided by the Supreme Court in several cases that revision is merely the first stage of an election protest. It is not the alpha and omega of an election protest. Revisors do not have judicial discretion since their duties are merely clerical which do not bind the PET. The findings of her revisors can never serve as a logical or an acceptable basis for conclusion that massive fraud or irregularities were committed during the election", Macalintal advised Legarda.

Recently, Legarda again went to the media after PET decided to allow her request to recount the election returns from Congress , which she earlier said were more credible that the copies from the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

However, early results showed De Castro's votes were higher than Legarda's, prompting the lady senator to retract her statement, saying the Congress-copy of ERs were tampered.

“In the meantime she should stop spreading disinformation that the Vice President was involved in election fraud. Indeed the initial results affirm the victory of the Vice President and in fact showing his lead widening but let us await the final resolution of the protest by the Supreme Court,” Macalintal said.

Macalintal instead advised the lady senator to respect
the PET as the proper and appropriate venue for anything that concerns her poll protest instead of making hyperbolic or unfounded allegations not supported by the law and the facts attendant to her protest.                                                                                             HOME | back-to-top

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