News on pending case broke sub judice rule

A+
A
A-

We write on behalf of our clients, the petitioners in the case titled “Mapfre Insular Insurance Corporation, et al. v. Judge Ruben Galvez, et al.” (CA-GR SP No. 119760) now pending before the Court of Appeals, regarding the news article written by Marlon Ramos titled “Batangas firm assails CA insurance claim rule.” (Inquirer, 7/20/11)

The issues and arguments discussed by Nonnatus Chua in the article have already been raised in the comment and motions filed by the Steel Corporation of the Philippines with the Court of Appeals. Hence, Chua’s interview, which was unnecessary and unwarranted under the circumstances, violated the sub judice rule and was therefore made in contempt of court.

It bears stressing that the court, in a pending litigation, must be shielded from embarrassment or influence in its all-important duty of deciding the case (In re Almacen, No. L-27654, Feb. 18, 1970, 31 SCRA 562). Any publication about a pending suit, reflecting upon the court, the parties, the officers of the court, the counsel, etc., with reference to the suit, or tending to influence the decision of the controversy, is contempt of court and is punishable (In re Kelly, 35 Phil. 944; see also Justice Arturo Brion’s Supplemental Opinion in Lejano v. People of the Philippines, GR Nos.  176389 and 176864, Dec. 14, 2010).

While the sub judice rule may be considered as a curtailment of the right to free speech, it cannot be denied that it is necessary to ensure the fair and orderly administration of justice. Therefore, we implore the editors of the Inquirer, in the name of responsible journalism, to respect the rule of law and to refrain from publishing stories that tend to influence the court in deciding cases which are pending before it.

—JEROME L. DE GUZMAN and

RALPH DAVID D. SO,

De Guzman San Diego Mejia & Hernandez Law Offices (GSMH Law), The Penthouse,

Paragon Tower, 531 A. Flores St.,

Ermita, Manila 1000

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94

editors' picks

December 18, 2014

Uninhibited

advertisement
December 17, 2014

Corrupted system

advertisement