The camp of former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday scored the opposition Liberal Party and the personalities belonging to what it described as the “Yellow Force” for “working double time” in defending Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, who was recently accused of allegedly failing to submit his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth for 15 years in violation of the SALN law.
Vic Rodriguez, Marcos’ spokesman, urged the LP-Yellow Force to leave Leonen alone in defending himself from public perception of bias and prejudice that allegedly greatly affected the fair and speedy resolution of Marcos’ election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.
“The LP-Yellow force is working double time in defense of AJ Leonen who committed a crime of violating the SALN Law at the expense of knowing the speedy decision on BBM’s case,” Rodriguez said.
He said a few personalities who came out lately with political statements and making noise in support of Leonen only strengthened the public doubts and perception of his true leaning and color.
“The Liberal Party will be doing Justice Leonen a big favor if they just back off and let him be independent and free from any perceived bias and prejudice that has greatly affected the fair, speedy and just resolution of Sen. Bongbong Marcos’ election protest,” Rodriguez said.
He made the statement after Senator Franklin Drilon defended Leonen from the allegations he violated the SALN law for 15 years by attacking the Office of the Solicitor General’s request to the Supreme Court to release Leonen’s SALN documents.
Drilon, the LP’s chairman, said the OSG headed by Solicitor General Jose Calida wanted to have Leonen’s SALN “for purposes of preparing a quo warranto petition” to work on the justice’s removal from the Supreme Court.
Drilon said Leonen and the latter’s fellow justices could only be removed by Congress through impeachment proceedings.
The opposition senator trained his guns on Calida allegedly without knowing the latest developments in the OSG’s move on Leonen’s SALN.
Calida filed a motion for reconsideration on Oct. 22 before the Supreme Court concerning Leonen’s SALN covering his stay at the University of the Philippines College of Law from 1989 to 2010.
The Solicitor General also asked the high court to release other documents about the wealth of Leonen.
Calida also submitted the same to the Judicial Bar Council, which is mandated to recommend to the President a shortlist of the aspirants qualified to be appointed to the 15-member bench.
The second motion was made four days after the high court on Sept. 15 rejected Calida’s request to release the SALN and other public documents about Leonen’s wealth.
In the same motion for reconsideration, Calida admitted that the purpose of the SALN and other wealth-connected documents was to use them as bases to file quo warranto petitions to the Supreme Court in order to remove Leonen from the latter.
Calida’s legal arguments in getting the public documents were the 1987 Constitution, Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, and a number of Supreme Court decisions about the release of the public document like the SALN.