BBM moves for Justice Caguioa's immediate inhibition from his election protest

Press Releases
6 August 2018

Shows proof his wife actively campaigned for Robredo in the May 2016 elections

Citing him and his wife’s undeniably close ties with former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino Jr. and Mrs. Leni Robredo, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos today sought to inhibit Supreme Court Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa from further participating in his election protest.

Caguioa is the ponente in Marcos’ election protest.  As such, he is in charge of overseeing the progress and ultimate disposition of the election protest.

In a 13-page Extremely Urgent Motion to Inhibit, Marcos said he recently discovered that Caguioa’s wife, Pier Angela “Gel” Caguioa, was not only an anti-Marcos advocate but was also an ardent supporter of Robredo,  having actively campaigned for her during the May 2016 elections.

“Accordingly, it is most respectfully prayed by the undersigned protestant that Associate Justice Caguioa immediately RECUSE and INHIBIT himself from participating in any of the proceedings in connection with the above-entitled election protest,” Marcos stated.

According to Marcos, he decided to file the Motion To Inhibit shortly after seeing the online messages of Caguioa’s wife in her Viber group “AHS77/COLL81 COR” -- which clearly depicted her resentment against him and his family.

In one of her Viber messages, Caguioa’s wife wrote “(i)f BBM wins and if he wins because of the youth, it’ll be [the] failure of our generation.  We were the main catalysts of Edsa 1 and yet we failed to impart its lessons upon the generation that followed us.”

Marcos said that the series of Viber messages were posted in the Facebook page of former Baguio City Councilor Tonyboy Tabora on July 13, 2018 at 8:27   in the morning.  The video which he posted -- entitled “The Conjugal Conspiracy” immediately went viral and garnered 8,800 shares and 312,000 views as August 4, 2018.

Marcos also pointed out that while he was aware of Justice Caguioa’s fraternal bond with Noynoy Aquino because they were classmates from grade school, high school and college at the Ateneo De Manila University – a fact which led to Caguioa’s appointment to various top posts during Aquino’s Presidency, he tried to give Caguioa the benefit of the doubt.  Despite the inordinate delays in his election protest, he tried to remain above the fray out of respect to the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

However, after reading the nasty Viber messages of Caguioa’s wife, he realized that Caguioa would be hard pressed to be impartial and render justice “with the cold neutrality expected from a Judge”.

Marcos pointed out that from day 1, Caguioa should have recused himself from participating in his election protest out of delicadeza because he had deep rooted ties with his former boss’ arch nemesis. “Regrettably, however, it would appear that Associate Justice Caguioa had other plans because he even took on the responsibility of being the ponente in the said election protest,” he said.

“Given the evident bias, manifest partiality and blatant prejudice shown by Associate Justice Caguioa and Mrs. Caguioa in favor of Noynoy Aquino and protestee ROBREDO, the undersigned protestant is left with no other recourse but to file the instant Motion for the Inhibition pursuant to the mandate of Canons 3 and 4 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary,” he stressed.

Marcos pointed out that in a long line of decided cases, the Supreme Court reminded judges that they should avoid not just impropriety in their conduct but even the mere appearance of impropriety because it was important for Judges to conduct themselves in a manner which would avoid any suspicion of irregularity.

“The undersigned protestant has been advised that the mere appearance of impropriety, partiality, bias and prejudice on the part of the judiciary necessarily offends the Constitutional right of the aggrieved party-litigant to due process,” he said.

Marcos stressed that Caguioa should immediately recuse himself from his protest in order not to taint the other members of the PET of any bias or impropriety.

“Given the fact that the Supreme Court is a collegial body, it would be unfair and unjust for the other members of this esteemed Tribunal to be tainted by the impropriety of Associate Justice Caguioa. Consequently, it is imperative that he inhibit himself from participating in the proceedings and deliberations relative to this election protest,” he said.

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