By Dane Angelo M. Enerio
The Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) has slapped separate P50,000 fines against Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. for violating the court’s sub judice rule, according to a Twitter announcement made by the Supreme Court’s (SC) Public Information Office on Tuesday night.
BusinessWorld previously reported that Ms. Robredo and Mr. Marcos were ordered by the PET on April 10 to explain why they should not be cited in contempt for violating the court’s gag order when they disclosed information about their ongoing election recount to the public.
The court had earlier explained that under the subjudice rule, parties should not discuss information of their ongoing cases.
PET Action, June 26 | SC, as PET in Case no. 0005 (Marcos v Robredo), fines parties and counsels 50,000 pesos each for violation of subjudice rule.
— Supreme Court PIO (@SCPh_PIO) June 26, 2018
Ms. Robredo’s chief legal counsel, Romulo B. Macalintal, maintained their camp never released any “sensitive information” to the public and that all their statements were an attempt to correct misinformation being spread by Mr. Marcos’s camp.
The manual poll recount – which started on April 2 – stemmed from Mr. Marcos’s accusations that Ms. Robredo committed electoral fraud to secure her vice presidency win in the 2016 national elections.
Both camps have accused each other of committing “irregularities,” chief among them was Mr. Marcos’s claim that wet ballots and missing audit logs were encountered during the first days of the recount.