MANILA — The Supreme Court on Wednesday again reminded the camps of Vice President Leni Robredo and former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos to refrain from publicly commenting on the latter's election protest.
"Gusto ko po ulit ipaalala sa mga parties at sa kanilang mga abugado na galangin po sana nila ang utos ng korte na wag mag kumento o magsalita sa media tungkol sa kaso ayon sa 'sub judice rule,'" said the SC Public Information Office chief Brian Keith Hosaka.
(I want to again remind the parties and their lawyers to respect the order of the court not to comment to the media about the case, as per the sub judice rule.)
The sub judice rule bars comments and disclosure of information on a case under litigation. The Robredo and Marcos camps last year were fined P50,000 each for violating the gag order.
Robredo's lawyer Romulo Macalintal earlier reiterated that his client's lead over Marcos in the vice-presidential race widened by 15,000 votes when the court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, recounted ballots from 3 pilot provinces.
Marcos' spokesperson Vic Rodriguez, meanwhile, denied that they were behind the Supreme Court's postponement of its deliberations on the protest on Tuesday.
Hosaka declined to comment on Macalintal's claim about the supposed 15,000 votes that Robredo gained, noting that only the justices have a copy of the "confidential" report on the initial recount.
The justices, he maintained, are carefully studying the case.
"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 taumbayan na bise president na ayon sa batas," said Hosaka.
"Kaya po siguro dapat lamang ay pag aralan ng mabuti at maingat ng ating mga Justices ang bawat issue at ebidensiya ng kaso," he added.
(The issue in this case is the second highest leader of our country and who was truly chosen by public as the vice president, legally. This is why it's only right that the justices study each issue and evidence thoroughly and carefully.)
Marcos earlier claimed "widespread cheating" led to his defeat to Robredo in 2016 by some 260,000 votes, the closest in recent memory.
The manual recount of votes began last March, covering 3 pilot provinces chosen by Marcos, namely Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental.