SC issues show cause order to Manila Times reporter

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 21 2016 04:39 PM

MANILA - The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered a print reporter to explain his article about the supposed bribe attempt on justices of the high court in exchange for upholding the disqualification of presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe, and convince the court why he should not be cited for indirect contempt and meted sanctions.

In a one-page resolution, dated March 15, the high court issued a show cause order on Manila Times Senior Reporter Jomar Canlas for writing about the alleged P50-million per justice bribe offer allegedly made by persons "very close" to the administration party, Liberal Party (LP). Canlas' article attributed the story to several sources and was published as headline story on the front page of the newspaper last March 8.

The article stated that the alleged offer was declined by several justices, but it was not mentioned how many and who these justices are.

The high court decided on Sen. Poe's case also on March 8th, upholding her qualifications to run for President in the May elections and reversing her disqualification by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

READ: SC: Poe qualified to run for president

"Mr. Jomar Canlas is ordered to explain within five (5) days from receipt hereof, why no sanction should be imposed on him for indirect contempt of court in accordance with Section 3(d), Rule 71 (on contempt) of the 1997 Rules on Civil Procedure," the resolution read.

The high court pointed out that the news report tends to impede the administration of justice involving the case at hand.

"It appears that certain statements and innuendoes in Mr. Jomar Canlas' news report tend, directly or indirectly, to impede, obtruct, or degrade the administration of justice, within the purview of Section 3 (d), Rule 71 of the 1997 Rules on Civil Procedure," the resolution read.