SUPREME Court Public Information chief Brian Keith Hosaka yesterday warned the camp of Vice President Leni Robredo of contempt charges for ignoring the sub judice rule in issuing public statements concerning the electoral protest filed against her by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
In a statement released to reporters, Hosaka urged Robredo’s camp to just strictly follow the sub judice rule pending the Presidential Electoral Tribunal’s ruling on electoral protest cases.
Sub judice, latin for “under judgment”, means that a particular case or matter is under trial or being considered by a judge or court.
Parties are commanded to stop publishing materials or speaking publicly about a case to avoid interference with the administration of justice.
Hosaka issued the statement when he was asked to comment on Atty. Romulo Macalintal’s statement on Tuesday, claiming the vice president gained 15,000 votes in the recount of ballots from the three pilot provinces.
Macalintal, who is Robredo’s lead counsel, also warned that SC justices may set a bad precedent if they would allow the recount of votes outside of Marcos’ three pilot provinces.
“Gusto ko po ulit ipaalala sa mga parties at sa kanilang mga abugado na galangin po sana nila ang utos ng korte na wag magkumento o magsalita sa media tungkol sa kaso ayon sa sub judice rule,” Hosaka said in a statement.
Hosaka said once again said that “the PET did not take any action on the Vice Presidential Election Protest Case during the tribunal’s session last Tuesday,” stressing the second highest public seat in the country is at stake.
“Uulitin ko po yung nasabi ko kahapon, na itong kaso po sa PET ay maingat pang pinag aaralan ng ating mga Justices. Ang pinag uusapan po dito sa kasong ito ay ang pangalawang pinakamataas na pinuno ng ating bansa, at kung sino ang tunay at totoong pinili ng taong bayan na bise president na ayon sa batas. Kaya po siguro dapat lamang ay pagaralan nang mabuti at maingat ng ating mga Justices ang bawat issue at ebidensiya ng kaso,” Hosaka said.
Robredo won the vice presidential race in the May 2016 polls with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos’ 14,155,344 votes.
But in his protest, Marcos contested the results in a total of 132,446 precincts in 39,221 clustered precincts covering 27 provinces and cities.
He named three provinces where he can supposedly prove that irregularities marred the conduct of the 2016 national and local elections.
The Marcos’ pilot provinces are Camarines Sur, Negros Oriental and Iloilo.