SC asked to punish AFP chief, 2 others for indirect contempt of court

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Atty. Harry Roque, counsel of the family of slain Filipino transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude, on Monday asked the Supreme Court (SC) to punish Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang and two other military officials for alleged indirect contempt of court.

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In his petition filed before the SC, Roque argued that Catapang and Brig. Gen. Arturo Ang and Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc allegedly violated the “confidentiality rule” in connection with the disbarment case filed against him.

The AFP earlier filed a disbarment case against Roque before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for allegedly instigating the sister and fiance of Laude when they scaled up the perimeter fence inside Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City in an apparent attempt to see for themselves United States Marines Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, the suspect in the slaying of Laude last October 11.

Roque also argued that the AFP itself allegedly announced in the media the disbarment case they filed against him through the distribution of press statement to the members of the Defense Press Corps.

He stressed that the disclosure to the media about the threats of filing a disbarment case and making public the information about the case already filed is a violation of the “confidentiality rule” of disbarment proceedings as provided for under Section 18, Rule 139-b of the Rules of Court.

Likewise, Roque also asked the SC to impose against the said respondents a fine of Php30,000 each and imprisonment of six months as penalty, respectively. PNA

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