Filtered By: Topstories

Bongbong wants SC’s Caguioa to recuse from his poll protest

Former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday sought the inhibition of Supreme Court Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa from his election protest case over allegations of bias.

In a 13-page motion for inhibition, Marcos said Caguioa, the member-in-charge of his case challenging Vice President Leni Robredo's election victory in 2016, ought to have recused himself from the matter from the beginning "given his fraternal relations" with former president Benigno Aquino III.

Marcos said Caguioa is a "childhood friend," classmate, and former chief presidential legal counsel of  Aquino.

"Associate Justice Caguioa cannot deny that he is biased towards the 'yellow brigade' given his close ties with his friend and former boss, former president Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" C. Aquino III," Marcos said in the motion.

He claimed "simple delicadeza" should have prompted Caguioa's recusal from the case given the latter's "fraternal relations" with the former chief executive.

"Regrettably, however, it would appear that Associate Justice Caguioa had other plans because he even took on the responsibility of being the ponente in the said election protest," Marcos said.

Pro-Robredo wife?

Further, the former senator alleged that Caguioa's wife, Pier Angela, enjoys close relations with Robredo.

He cited supposed messages sent to a Viber group that allegedly reveal Mrs. Caguioa "was and still is an ardent supporter of Robredo and even actively campaigned for the latter" in the 2016 polls.

The allegation stemmed from a column published on Radyo Inquirer that, citing a Facebook post, featured screenshots of purported messages from Mrs. Caguioa, one of which allegedly said that "If BBM wins, and he wins because of the youth, it'll be the failure of our generation."

"Mrs. Caguioa's resentment towards protestant Marcos and his family is as clear as night and day," Marcos alleged.

Additionally, Marcos cited as "clear demonstration of bias" the action of the SC, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), on his camp's request for the printing of ballot images. He claimed they were made to pay P2.9 million for the printing but were not given given copies, unlike Robredo who allegedly got them for free.

He also voiced out frustration over a questioned Laguna outing joined by recount staff, including one Robredo hire, which had turned out to be already investigated by the time he had complained about it.

"Where are the transcripts of the investigation? What was the sanction? Who were sanctioned? This leads us to suspect na wala talagang investigation," he said.

Just 'making noise'

Meanwhile, Robredo's lead legal counsel Romulo Macalintal said Marcos is simply "making noise against a Supreme Court justice."

"Furthermore, it 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," Macalintal said in a statement.

He said Marcos' motion is not supported by strong and compelling evidence to prove Caguioa's alleged bias.

"It is unfortunate that the motion is based on mere speculations, whims and caprices of Mr. Marcos," he said. — RSJ, GMA News