The camp of former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has denied violating the gag orders issued by the Supreme Court (SC) sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) on February 13, 2018 and March 20, 2018, in connection with the ongoing recount of votes for the 2016 vice presidential poll.
“Protestant Marcos humbly submits that he did not make any comment or disclosure pertaining to the revision proceedings that may be construed as prejudging the issue, influencing the court, or obstructing the administration of justice,” Marcos said in his five-page compliance submitted to the SC.
Last April 10, the PET ordered the camps of Marcos and Vice President Leni Robredo to show cause and explain why they should not be cited in contempt for violating its gag order.
Marcos admitted that he was ambushed for interview by reporters during the first day of the revision proceedings but his statements were limited to his personal observation of what transpired during the day.
“Nonetheless, protestant Marcos would like to extend his sincerest apology to this Honorable Tribunal of his narration during that ambush interview may be considered as transgression of the sub judice rule,” Marcos' lawyer George Garcia said.
In its Feb. 13 resolution, the tribunal ordered the parties to strictly observe the sub judice rule pending the proceedings of the instant case and this was reiterated in another resolution dated March 20.
The PET, however, noted that despite the directives, several news reports have shown that the parties, their counsels and/or representatives, have continued to disclose sensitive information regarding the revision process to the public, in clear violation of the aforementioned resolutions.
The PET said it could not determine yet when the recount would be finished. Marcos filed the protest on June 29, 2016, claiming that the camp of Robredo cheated in the automated polls in May that year.
In his protest, Marcos contested the results from 132,446 precincts in 39,221 clusters, covering 27 provinces and cities. Robredo won the vice presidential race in the May 2016 polls with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos' 14,155,344 votes.