Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 24) — The Supreme Court, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal, is taking back its decision ordering Solicitor General Jose Calida and a journalist to explain why they should not be cited in contempt in connection with the vice-presidential poll protest.
Two Supreme Court sources disclosed the PET’s action on Tuesday. It came a week after the tribunal unanimously resolved to issue a show cause order against Calida and Manila Times reporter Jomar Canlas.
It remains unclear what exactly the PET wanted Calida and Canlas to explain, since the high court has not released its resolution. But in the same November 17 announcement, the tribunal also junked separate motions filed by Calida and former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. for Associate Justice Marvic Leonen to inhibit in the electoral protest case.
Marcos’ poll protest case against Vice President Leni Robredo has been pending since July 2016, with barely two years left to the VP’s term.
Robredo won by 263,473 votes against Marcos in the May 2016 polls. Initial recount results released in October 2019, which covered the sample provinces of Iloilo, Negros Oriental, and Camarines Sur, showed that Robredo’s lead grew by around 15,000 votes. Marcos still wanted these results reexamined and accused Leonen of sitting on the case.
Calida and Marcos both cited Canlas’ articles as bases in alleging that Leonen had already prejudged the case.
In a letter to his colleagues, Leonen said, “forgiveness is often the more decent consequence of another’s misunderstanding.”
CNN Philippines’ Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.