MANILA — The Presidential Electoral Tribunal on Tuesday reiterated its gag order prohibiting parties to the 2016 vice presidential election protest from publicly commenting on the case.
This comes amid renewed bickering between the sides of defeated candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. and Vice President Leni Robredo following the former's move seeking for Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Marvic Leonen's inhibition from the case.
“In view of the recent appearances and statements of the parties, their counsels and their agents in various media outlets including print, broadcast and social media, the Presidential Electoral Tribunal reiterates its Resolutions dated February 13, 2018 and March 20, 2018 directing the parties to strictly observe the sub judice rule,” the PET said through a media briefer released by the SC Public Information Office.
“These are not the proper venues to litigate their case. The parties, their counsels and their agents are sternly warned that any more violation of this order shall be dealt with more severely,” it added.
In an online conference on Monday following the filing of his motion, Marcos accused Leonen of delaying the resolution of his election protest.
"I'm not interested in these legal maneuvers. All I want is for this case to be finished, before it becomes moot and academic," said Marcos. Robredo's term is set to end in 2022.
"I think the advice that is given to the justices when they are asked to inhibit is proper self-examination of their actuations. And I hope he does that, because if he does, and if anyone else does it as well, you will see very clearly that he is biased, he's partisan and he's prejudiced,” said Marcos, who last served as a senator.
Robredo’s legal team hit back, calling Marcos a “spoiled brat” who should “face reality” that “Vice President Leni Robredo won. Twice.”
Aside from the 2018 issuances, the PET also warned the parties about observing the sub judice rule on September 10, 2019, following the conclusion of the recount and revision of ballots in 3 pilot provinces of Iloilo, Negros Oriental and Camarines Sur involving 5,415 precincts.
Meanwhile, Supreme Court spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka said there’s “no action yet by the court” on Marcos’ motion for Leonen to inhibit from the poll protest.