Robredo, Marcos both fined for violating gag order; Bongbong honors payment
Updated 6 p.m.
The Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) has ordered both Vice President Leni Robredo and former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos to pay a fine of P50,000 each for violating its gag order.
The fine was ordered by PET after finding both camps guilty of violating the sub judice rule by publicly discussing the ongoing recount of the 2016 Vice Presidential election result being protested by Marcos.
Marcos has already complied with the order by paying the fine. Robredo, on the other hand, has not complied with the order yet.
“Protestant Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. through the undersigned counsels, unto this Honorable Tribunal, most respectfully manifests that he has paid the amount of P50,000 in compliance with its resolution dated 26 June 2018,” read the compliance document.
The copy of the official receipt No. 0214433-SC-EP was also attached to the compliance document.
Robredo’s lawyer, Atty. Romulo Macalintal, said they have not yet complied with the PET’s directive.
Last June, the SC Public Information Office (PIO) said “the PET Action, June 26 | SC, as PET in Case no. 0005 (Marcos v Robredo), fines parties and counsels PHP50,000 each for violation of sub judice rule.”
On Feb. 13, the PET ordered the parties to strictly observe the gag order pending the proceedings for the electoral protest filed by Marcos.
This was reiterated in another resolution dated March 20, 2018.
Eventually, the PET on April 10 also issued a resolution directing both parties to show cause why they should not be held in contempt for discussing the merits of the case in violation of the sub judice rule.
Though the PET did not specifically cited what both camps have discussed to warrant the issuance of the show cause order, it would be recalled that since the start of the vote recount, stories about allegations of cheating and other irregularities surfaced in the media, which quoted sources.
Both camps denied disclosing sensitive information regarding the ongoing vote recount.
The manual recount of votes began on March 19 covering Marcos’ three pilot provinces namely, Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental.
Marcos filed the protest on June 29, 2016, saying 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 was declared the winner of the vice presidential race in the May 2016 polls with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos’ 14,155,344 votes.