MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr filed a motion with the Presidential Electoral Tribunal Monday, August 6, seeking the immediate inhibition of Supreme Court Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa from his electoral protest.
Marcos, who is protesting the victory of Vice President Leni Robredo, said he has proof that Caguioa’s wife campaigned for Marcos rival Leni Robredo in the vice presidential election in 2016.
He said Caguioa’s continued participation in hearing his protest against Robredo would “taint the other members of the PET” with “bias or impropriety.”
According to court insiders, Caguio is the member-in-charge of Marcos’ electoral protest.
In a statement, Marcos said that despite Caguio’s closeness to Aquino, Robredo’s party mate and endorser, he had given he justice the benefit of the doubt. However, the former senator said he had discovered “nasty” messages posted by Caguioa’s wife Pier Angela “Gel” Caguioa in a Viber group called “AHS77/COLL81 COR,” showing clear bias against the Marcos family and for Robredo.
“However, after reading the nasty Viber messages of Caguioa’s wife, [Marcos] realized that Caguioa would be hard-pressed to be impartial and render justice with the cold neutrality expected from a Judge,” the statement said.
Marcos’ proofs vs. Caguioa: In a press conference at Max’s Restaurant, Manila, after filing his motion with PET, Marcos enumerated the issues where Caguioa showed his supposed bias for Robredo:
- Non-dismissal of Robredo’s counter-protest despite failure to pay the full payment of court service fee
- Lack of investigation into the outing of court staff with a revisor of Robredo
- Mrs Caguioa’s messages to her Viber group
“Palagay ko maliwanag na maliwanag na may bias si Justice Caguioa (I think it’s very clear Justice Caguioa has biases),” Marcos said. “I have such high respect for the tribunal…. l would like to make it very, very clear that this is not an attack against the Supreme Court. It is quite the contrary. It is to preserve the fairness and the justice that we all expect from the Supreme Court.”
Robredo camp’s reply: Romulo Macalintal, lead counsel of Vice President Leni Robredo, said in a statement Monday the “motion is based on mere speculations, whims, and caprices of Mr Marcos” and is “not supported by any strong and compelling evidence.”
Macalintal said Marcos is just tring to delay the proceedings because the comment on the case recently submitted by the Commission on Elections favored Robredo’s motion to use the 25% ballot shading threshold in crediting votes.
Marcos has questioned the 25% shading threshold, saying the poll body was supposed to follow the 50% rule in 2016. Robredo has warned though that adopting the 50% threshold would make both of them lose votes.
Marcos’ latest motion, Macalintal said, “will set a bad precedent for the High Court where a party will seek an inhibition of one of the Supreme Court members if things don’t go the party’s way.” – Rappler.com