MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo thinks that her electoral rival, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., knew that he didn’t win in last year’s polls.
And she also thinks that the former senator is pursuing the electoral protest against her victory – not because he was cheated – but because of his desire to get back to power, which Robredo says is frightening.
“Tapos na ang eleksyon. Tingin ko, alam naman niya na hindi siya nadaya. Pero ‘yong desire na makabalik sa kapangyarihan, ‘yon ang nakakatakot,” said Robredo when asked about Marcos’ poll protest during an open forum with students of the University of the Philippines in Los Banos, Laguna on Friday, April 21.
Marcos’s case against Robredo had 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.
Last 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.
On the same day, Marcos’ camp announced that 40 of the former senator’s friends and supporters had chipped in and raised the first installment of P36 million being required by PET from Marcos.
On April 18, Marcos’ camp claimed Robredo’s plea to the high tribunal to defer payment of P15 million was a delaying tactic.
“If you would check on the records of this entire election protest, napakarami nilang finile na unnecessary motions, which to our mind—it is our position and humble submission—the only intent is to delay the already very slow pace of this election protest,” said Marcos’ lawyer Vic Rodriguez.
But on Friday, April 21, Robredo’s lawyer, Bernadette Sardillo denied that the Vice President’s camp wanted to delay Marcos’ poll protest against his rival.
Sardillo explained that the Supreme Court had scheduled in July the next payment for the second and last installment being required from Marcos and Robredo and that the P66 million being required from the former senator must first be fully paid before the ballot boxes for recounting are retrieved.
“(I)yong motion namin hindi naman po nakakaapekto doon sa schedule na binigay ng Korte Suprema kasi bago naman makuha ang ballot boxes, kailangan bayad na buo ang 66 million,” Sardillo told media.
“So ang sunod na kabayaran niyan ay sa July. Paano naging delaying tactic ito eh sa July pa, pagkatapos niya mabayaran sa July makukuha iyong ballot boxes?” she added.