Justice Caguioa stays as ponente of VP poll protest
Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa will stay as the ponente or member-in-charge on the electoral protest filed by former Senator Bongbong Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo.
The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday confirmed that Caguioa’s request to re-raffle the case to another SC justice was “denied unanimously.”
“There has been no change in the management of PET Case No. 0005 as the request was denied unanimously,” the SC Public Information Office said in a statement sent to reporters.
Caguioa had requested to re-raffle the designation of ponente to other SC justices. In his request, however, Caguioa still gets to vote on the electoral protest currently pending before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
This is contrary to the petition filed by Marcos who had sought for Caguioa’s inhibition from the case, claiming that the justice was biased toward the “yellow brigade.”
If Marcos’ request would be granted, Caguioa could no longer participate in the proceedings on the poll protest.
Noting that he was formerly a Justice Secretary under the Aquino administration, Marcos said Caguioa should have “readily recuse[d] himself from participating in the election protest filed by his former boss’ arch nemesis.”
“Regrettably, however, it would appear that Associate Justice Caguioa had other plans because he even took the responsibility of being the ponente in the said election protest,” read Marcos’ urgent motion.
SC warns leakage vs media
Meanwhile, the SC Public Information Office warned individuals and court personnel who have leaked “privileged and confidential matters as well pending matters” to the media.
“Reference has been made in the news items to a document that is both internal and privileged and which could only have been obtained or accessed unofficially,” the SC PIO said.
The warning was made after a newspaper reported that Caguioa issued the memorandum saying that he wanted to re-raffle the designation of ponente or justice-in-charge on the poll protest.
“In the past, the Court has dealt severely with individuals and court personnel who have leaked privileged and confidential matters as well as pending matters,” the SC PIO said.
“We ask the media to be more circumspect and discerning in reporting unofficial and pending matters that have yet to be acted upon as they may mislead the public,” it stressed. /vvp