Harry Roque wants 6 months jail time for AFP chief
MANILA, Philippines – Lawyer Harry Roque on Monday, November 10, asked the Supreme Court (SC) to cite for indirect contempt Armed Forces chief General Gregorio Catapang Jr and two other officers over the disbarment case they filed against him.
Roque also included in his contempt petition Camp Aguinaldo base commander Brigadier General Arthur Ang and military spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc.
The case stems from the media blitz that preceded the disbarment case filed by the Armed Forces against Roque in connection with the issues related to the murder of slain Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude. The Armed Forces, according to him, violated the confidentiality of disbarment proceedings.
"Petitioner prays that respondents AFP Chief of Staff, Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang, Brig. Gen. Arturo Ang and Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc be cited for indirect contempt of court for violating the confidentiality rule covering disbarment proceedings," reads Roque's petition filed Monday afternoon.
"Petitioner prays that they be meted out the maximum penalty of a fine of thirty thousand pesos each (P30,000.00) and of imprisonment for six months," it added.
Sought for comment, Catapang told Rappler "Let it be."
Roque cited the Rules of Court, which he said guarantees the confidentiality of the proceedings.
Proceedings against attorneys shall be private and confidential. However, the final order of the Supreme Court shall be published like its decisions in other cases.
- Section 18, Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court
While Ang is the complainant in the disbarment case against him, Roque said the military is a "hierarchical institution characterized by a chain of command." He said Ang would not have filed the case without instructions from the chief of staff.
It was also Cabunoc who announced the disbarment case to the media. – Rappler.com