MANILA, Philippines – Former Davao del Sur congressman Marc Douglas Cagas IV face the possibility of being held in contempt for questioning the Supreme Court’s dismissal of his petition to stop the plebiscite on the creation of Davao Occidental province.
In its November 26 decision – made public on Friday, November 29 – the Court ordered Cagas “to show cause why he should not be held in contempt of court” following his “innuendos against the Supreme Court en banc” for dismissing his petition.
The Court said they received a letter from Cagas, addressed to SC administrator Jose Midas Marquez, saying he was surprised with “the level of deceitfulness of whoever wrote the decision” pertaining to his denied petition.
In the letter, written in a mix of English and Filipino and had a partly informal tone, Cagas addressed the Court administrator as “Pards.” He said of the Court decision: “It can poison the minds of law students.”
The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed on October 25 Cagas’ petition to prohibit the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from conducting the October 28 plebiscite for the creation of Davao Occidental.
Justice Antonio Carpio penned the decision.
The plebiscite pushed through, and majority of the voters voted “yes” to the creation of the new province, carved out of Davao del Sur.
Cagas authored the original bill that paved way for the creation of Davao Occidental when he was still in Congress. In May, he lost his gubernatorial bid in Davao del Sur, the mother province that has since been tasked to manage the affairs of the new province until the 2016 elections.
Cagas sent Marquez’s office 15 DVDs that supposedly would back his criticisms of the Court decision:
- the alleged links between politicians Benjamin Bautista, Franklin Bautista, Claude Bautista, and Lorna Bandigan of Davao del Sur to suspected pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles
- the relative poverty of the people as well as the “ghost” government projects in the second district of Davao del Sur
- the alleged patterns of cheating in the May 2013 elections due to the use of the precinct count optical scan machines
- Cagas’ campaign against the creation of the province of Davao Occidental
In the letter, Cagas asked Midas to have the justices watch the DVDs so that “they would know the truth.”
The Court, however, saw Cagas’ approach as an improper conduct “tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice.”
Cagas has been given 5 days from the receipt of the SC resolution to respond.
On Friday, Cagas was named a respondent in a complaint filed by the justice department with the Ombudsman in relation to the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund, as he was allegedly among the regular clients of Janet Napoles. – Rappler.com