SC warns parties against public comments on VP election protest case


THE SUPREME Court has again reminded the parties of Vice President Maria Leonor G. Robredo and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. to refrain from discussing the electoral protest filed by the latter before the public. SC Public Information chief Brain Keith F. Hosaka, in a mobile-phone message to reporters, said they are reiterating the warning based on the sub judice rule, which prohibits parties from commenting on a pending case. Mr. Hosaka also declined to give further comments, noting that the report on the recount is “confidential” and that the SC justices are carefully studying it. Mr. Hosaka announced on Tuesday that the court did not take action on the report submitted by Associate justice Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa on the recount in the three pilot provinces of Iloilo, Negros Oriental and Camarines Sur. “The case remains pending and is still being deliberated by the members of the tribunal,” he said. Mr. Marcos filed the election protest in 2016 after losing the vice presidential race to Ms. Robredo. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

Saudi Arabia lists 19 public decency offenses subject to fines

SAUDI ARABIA has identified 19 offenses to public decency punishable by fines, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday. The DFA advised Filipino travelers to Saudi Arabia to follow the new regulation, which will primarily be implemented by the Saudi police. “The new regulation helps ensure that travelers to Saudi Arabia are reminded of laws that concern public behavior,” the department said in a statement. The offenses include immodest clothing, public display of affection, taking photos or videos of people without permission, playing music at a residential area without permit or at prayer times, non-removal of pet excrement, littering in non-designated areas, and spitting. Others are writing or drawing without authorization on public transportation vehicles and walls, wearing clothing that promote discrimination, porn or drug use, and skipping waiting lines, among others. The penalty for first time offenders range from 50 to 3,000 Saudi riyals; while repeated violation will have a fine of 100-6,000 Saudi riyals.–Charmaine A. Tadalan