PET fines Marcos, Robredo P50K for gag order violations

The Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), has ordered the camps of Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo and former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to pay PHP50,000 each for disclosing sensitive information regarding the recount of the votes for the 2016 vice presidential race.

“PET Action, June 26 | SC, as PET in Case no. 0005 (Marcos v Robredo), fines parties and counsels 50,000 pesos each for violation of sub judice rule,” the SC Public Information Office (PIO) said in its Twitter account.

Both parties had been holding their separate press conferences and discussing the issues concerning the vote recount.

Last April 10, the PET directed the both parties to show cause and explain why they should not be cited in contempt for violating the Resolutions dated Feb. 13, 2018 and Mar. 20, 2018.

In a resolution dated Feb. 13, the tribunal ordered the parties to strictly observe the sub judice rule pending the proceedings of the instant case.

This was reiterated in another resolution dated March 20, 2018.

However, despite PET’s stern directives, several news reports showed that the parties, their counsels or their representatives, continued to disclose sensitive information regarding the revision process to the public, a clear violation of the tribunal’s resolutions.

Marcos filed the protest on June 29, 2016, claiming that the camp of Robredo cheated in the automated polls in May that year.

In his protest, Marcos contested the results from 132,446 precincts in 39,221 clusters, covering 27 provinces and cities.

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. PNA