Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno has pleaded with the 14 associate justices of the Supreme Court to stop leaking stories to The Manila Times.
According to The Times’ source, Sereno made the appeal when the Court deliberated on the Cybercrime Prevention Act on Tuesday.
The source said Sereno digressed from the cybercrime law petitions and asked her colleagues not to disclose the result of their voting and decisions.
“Pakiusap lang. Baka mag-leak na naman ito kay Jomar Canlas (I request you, please, no more leaks to Jomar Canlas),” Sereno is said to have told her fellow magistrates.
While most of the justices took the request in jest as Sereno cast a glance at Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, the latter denied it was he who leaked information about how the justices voted on certain high-profile cases.
The Times had come out with exclusive stories on how justices, particularly Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, criticized Sereno for issuing a fake resolution creating the Regional Court Administration Office in Cebu and for meddling in the partylist case.
This Times reporter had left a text message for Theodore Pe, the Supreme Court spokesman, asking for a reply or comment from Sereno on her latest quip, but has received no reply.
Before the High Court ruled on the controversial Cybercrime law on Tuesday, The Times ran a story about the likelihood of some of the provisions of that law — Republic Act 10175 — being stricken out, particularly the portion allowing the Department of Justice to shut down websites even without a court order.
The Court insider sees Sereno’s appeal as proof that she has no control over the other justices.
“The fact it was leaked out to you (Manila Times), that Sereno made the appeal not to leak the court’s decisions, indicates that her request has been ignored and disobeyed,” the source said.