Story by News5-InterAksyon
MANILA, Philippines – Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s case against his 2016 vice presidential rival Leni Robredo has progressed after the Supreme Court, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), ordered the two to shell out a total of P81.46 million for their separate poll protests.
The high tribunal said Marcos must pay a total of P66.02 million that would be used for the retrieval of election materials for his protest against Robredo’s poll victory, while the remaining P15.44 million must be paid by the Vice President to retrieve materials for her plea to dismiss Marcos’ protest against her.
On Monday, April 17, Robredo’s camp announced that it had asked the PET to allow the Vice President to pay the P15.44 million at a later time when Marcos finally proves that he has sufficient basis for his protest. The high tribunal gave Robredo until April 14 to pay for the first installment.
“Kaya sabi namin, hindi muna kami babayad kasi, unang-una, dapat si Mr. Marcos muna ang dapat magpatunay na mayroon siyang sufficient basis for his protest,” Robredo’s lawyer, Romulo Macalintal said during a press conference.
Macalintal said that before Robredo shells out P15 million, Marcos must first prove that he would be able to recover votes and thus the former senator should also be the first one to pay P66 million.
“Kailangang patunayan ni Mr. Marcos na mayroon siyang ma-rerecover na mga boto. Kailangan siya muna mag-deposit, siya muna magpabukas ng mga balota, at makita natin kung mayroong basehan iyong kanyang protesta,” said Macalintal.
He added that it would be futile if Robredo coughs up P15 million but Marcos ends up not being able to regain the votes he is running after.
“Eh bakit kami mag-dedeposit ng 15 million pesos eh pagkatapos naman pala wala naman palang mangyayari. So iyon ang hinihingi namin sa Korte Suprema (So why should we deposit P15 million for something that might turn out to just be nothing),” asked Macalintal.
Also, Robredo appealed to the high tribunal to order Marcos to pay an additional P185 million, apart from the P66 million, because while the former senator is protesting against the poll results in 32,000 precincts, what he is allegedly questioning are the results in all 92,000 clustered precincts that functioned during the May 2016 polls.