Monday, August 20, 2018

Justice Caguioa wants out of Marcos-Leni case




Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa and Bongbong Marcos / Photo from CNN Philippines
Defending himself from allegations of conspiracy and bad faith in handling the electoral protest of former Senator Bongbong Marcos vs Vice President Leni Robredo, Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa seeks to inhibit as justice – in charge.

An internal memorandum was addressed to Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio and other justices of the en banc with Caguioa asking to disqualify himself from the case to avoid further suspicion against his character.


Caguioa however, clarified that he would still participate in the election protest filed by Marcos against Robredo over the latter’s alleged fraudulent victory in the 2016 National Elections.

The Associate Justice wrote the internal memorandum ahead of Marcos’ motion for inhibition against him for allegedly being “biased towards the yellow brigade” citing amity with former President Noynoy Aquino.

Marcos also alleged that Caguioa’s wife, Pier Angela “Gel” Caguioa is an ardent Robredo supporter who actively campaigned for the VP during the 2016 elections and continued affiliation for her to date.
Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa / Photo from Rappler
Caguioa pointed out that he played fair as ponente since the case was raffled off to him.

“This is, in my mind, for the best, as any resolution on this sensitive issue would certainly give rise to another round of politicking, and it is ideal that this be resolved by the en banc with me no longer being the member-in-charge,” Caguioa said.

“From the beginning, I have been vilified and pilloried in both the press and social media as having intentionally delayed the start of the revision process and that, to date, I continue to delay and derail the process,” he added.

Caguioa insisted that a preliminary conference was held in June 2017 immediately after responding to all fundamental requirements of the allegations in the protest and a timely submission of a counter – protest “had been subjected to a series of submissions of pleadings by the contending parties, and finally resolved.”
Bongbong Marcos and Leni Robredo / Photo from ABS-CBN News
“At the same time, my office closely coordinated and worked with PET commissioners and the Senate Electoral Tribunal in the drafting of the rules and guidelines for the conduct of the revision and preliminary appreciation of ballots,” the Associate Justice said.

The magistrate said that they managed to revise up to 2,000 ballot boxes only 3 months adding that the revision of ballots from precincts in pilot provinces shall be done by October to November this year considering unforeseen events.

“This therefore belies any imputation of delay,” Caguioa said.

“I have been a good soldier, so to speak, and have handled this PET matter for the better part of two years, with all the professionalism, impartiality, competency and wisdom expected of me as a member of the court that sits as the tribunal,” he added.

Marcos filed the electoral protest against Robredo claiming massive fraud by losing more than 260,000 votes during the 2016 National Elections.

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Source:  manilatimes.net