VP poll protest: SC orders Marcos to pay P66.2M; Robredo, P15.7M
The Supreme Court sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) has ordered former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to pay a total of P66.2-million for the retrieval of election materials for his election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.
In a three-page resolution signed by En Banc Clerk of Court Atty. Felipa B. Anama, the P66,223,000 is for the 132,446 precincts Marcos is protesting.
Marcos, in his protest, assails the election results in 39,221 clustered precincts-36,465 of which he prays for the conduct of manual count and judicial revisions while he prays for the annulment of election results in the remaining 2,756. Based on the Commission on Election (Comelec) data, the 39,221 clustered precincts are composed of the 132,446 precincts.
On the other hand, Robredo is required by the PET to pay P15,639,000 for the 31,278 precincts.
Both Marcos and Robredo can pay on installment basis. Marcos should pay P36,023,000 on or before April 14 and P30-million on or before July 14. Robredo, on the other hand is required to pay P8-million on or before April 14, and P7,439,000 on or before July 14.
In his protest, Marcos urged PET to order the immediate collection, retrieval, transport and delivery of all ballot boxes in all 39,221 clustered precincts during the May 9, 2016 elections.
Marcos, in his last motion, cited recent developments involving Robredo, particularly her controversial video message against President Duterte and his administration sent to the United Nations commission on narcotics drugs.
The said video is being eyed by administration allies as basis for impeachment of Robredo.
“There is clearly a well-funded concerted effort to undermine the Duterte administration, just recently, Robredo’s video message on the alleged extra-judicial killings caused quite a stir among our patriotic countrymen,” he lamented.
“Robredo cannot have it both ways. She cannot keep claiming that she won the elections fair and square and yet, behind everyone’s back, she keeps finding ways to stop the truth from coming out,” Marcos further alleged.
In its ruling, the PET has junked Robredo’s plea to have the case dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
The tribunal rejected Robredo’s argument that the matter should have been raised before Congress when it was still acting as the National Board of Canvassers.
It pointed out that under Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution pertaining to PET rules, “the tribunal shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the President or Vice President of the Philippines.”
The PET has ruled that the sufficiency in form and substance of Marcos’ election protest is beyond question.
In appealing the ruling, Robredo questioned the tribunal’s finding that Marcos’ protest contained narrations of “ultimate facts” regarding the alleged irregularities.
She pointed out that Marcos did not specifically point to poll irregularities in various provinces—consisting of 662 municipalities and their component cities and the 2,537 clustered from five highly urbanized cities. IDL
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