Robredo haggles with SC, Bongbong pays up in election protests
The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo has asked the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to allow her to pay the cash deposit for her counterprotest at a later time pending determination of the merits of the poll protest filed by losing candidate former Sen. Bongbong Marcos.
Lawyer Romulo Macalintal, Robredo’s counsel, said the usual procedure was for the protestant (Marcos) to pay the cash deposit first for the opening of the ballots.
“Mr. Marcos would have to demonstrate that he could recover ballots sufficient to overcome the vote lead of Vice President Robredo,” Macalintal said in a press briefing on Monday.
The PET has ordered Marcos to pay P66 million for the precincts covered by his protest while Robredo was ordered to pay P15 million for her counter protest.
The cash deposits can be made in two tranches with the first installment due on April 14.
“Under the rules, the PET will direct Marcos to choose three provinces for the initial reception of evidence. And if there is basis for the protest, then that’s the time we will talk about the deposits,” Macalintal said.
In their manifestation, Macalintal said Marcos should even pay P185 million since the first cause of action of his protest questioned the integrity of the vote counting machines in all 92,509 clustered precincts equivalent to 369,138 established precincts.
Meanwhile, Marcos on Monday went to the Supreme Court to personally witness the payment of P36 million in filing fee for his election protest against Robredo.
The son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos claimed the money did not come from his own pocket, but was raised by 40 of his friends and supporters as he could not immediately come up with the amount set by the high court.
Among those who donated for his filing fee were a certain Alfredo Roa and Ruby Diaz Roa, who, as Marcos admitted, could be related to President Duterte.
“My friends and others who are close to me initiated it. They were the ones who went around to get help, support and collected the money for us to come up with P36 million,” Marcos told reporters.—ERIKA SAULER AND MARLON RAMOS
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