Bongbong’s protest vs Leni forges ahead
FORMER senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. turned over a check for P36 million to the Supreme Court on Monday as partial payment for the expenses that will be incurred to retrieve ballot boxes and poll documents from disputed precincts nationwide in his election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.
The Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, has required Marcos to pay a total of P66.2 million for the retrieval of the election materials and to conduct a recount of the votes for the vice presidential race, which Marcos lost to Robredo by a slim margin of 263,473 votes.
Robredo, who has filed a counter-complaint against Marcos in some precincts, has been ordered to pay P15.7 million.
Marcos’s check, issued by the Metrobank branch in Taguig City, was received by the Court’s Cash Division.
The PET, composed of all 15 members of the Supreme Court, is the sole arbiter of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the president and the vice president.
The tribunal requires that the protesting party make a cash deposit of P500 per contested precinct if the protest requires the bringing of the contested ballot boxes and election documents to the PET.
In his protest, Marcos contested the results in 132,446 precincts in 27 provinces and cities.
The tribunal said the total would amount to P66.223 million, payable in tranches up to July 14.
Robredo, on the other hand, was also ordered to make a cash deposit of P15.43 million in her counter-protest covering 31,278 precincts.
The PET resolution required Robredo to pay P8 million on April 17 and the balance of P7.43 million on July 14.
Robredo garnered 14,418,817 votes while Marcos got 14,155,344 votes or a difference of 263,473 votes. Robredo was proclaimed and assumed the post of vice president.
Earlier, Marcos’ lawyer Vic Rodriguez had asked the PET to reduce the P62.2 million as election protest payment.
“We have asked for a recomputation of the amount, that instead of basing it on the number of established or traditional precincts, it should be based on number of clustered precincts [39,221] with the advent of the automation of our system of election,” Rodriguez said.
The PET has yet to act on Rodriguez’s pleading.
Robredo also on Monday asked the PET to hold in abeyance her payment of P15.44 million as deposit for her counter-protest against her rival and protestant.
In a manifestation, Robredo through lawyer Romulo Macalintal sought clarification on its order directing her to pay the amount, saying that the rules do not require her to deposit the said amount yet.
Citing Rules 65 of the 2010 Rules of the PET, Robredo said she should be required to pay the cash deposit only after there is a necessity to retrieve and collect her counter-protested clustered precincts.