P66-M bond set for Bongbong protest vs Leni
The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to pay P66 million for his election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo to proceed.
But two days after receiving the order of the SC sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, the camp of Marcos quickly filed yesterday an appeal seeking a lower amount.
In a three-page resolution received by Marcos’ camp last Monday, the PET directed Marcos to deposit the amount needed for the resolution of the protest.
Under Section 33 (b) of the PET rules, a protestant is required to make a cash deposit to the tribunal in the amount of P500 per contested precinct “if they require the bringing of the contested ballot boxes and election documents to the tribunal.”
In his protest, Marcos contested the results in a total of 132,446 precincts in 39,221 clustered precincts covering 27 provinces and cities.
“Based on the foregoing, the cash deposit for protestant is P500 for each of the 132,446 precincts, which amounts to P66,223,000,” read the order signed by lawyer Felipa Anama, SC clerk of court and PET clerk.
Since Marcos already initially deposited P200,000 upon filing of his protest, he now needs to pay the remaining P66,023,000 in two tranches – P36,023,000 on April 16 and P30 million on July 14.
In the same order, the PET also ordered Robredo to pay P15.43 million for her counterprotest against Marcos.
The Vice President was required to pay P8 million for the first tranche also on April 16 and P7.43 million on July 14.
Since April 14 falls on a holiday (Good Friday), the first deadline was moved to the next working day on Monday, April 17.
But the camp of Marcos appealed the order in a motion for reconsideration.
Through lawyer Vic Rodriguez, the dictator’s son asked the PET to defer the order for payment of the deposit pending resolution of their plea to set the case for preliminary conference.
“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 with the advent of the automation of our system of election,” he told reporters.
Rodriguez also lamented the “impounding” of the resolution, promulgated last March 21 but which they received only last Monday. They were informed about the order for payment only three working days before the deadline.
The SC did not release the order to the media when it was promulgated last month.
SC spokesman Theodore Te said the setting of the amount of deposit required in the PET case is “internal and comes with the procedure.”
When asked for a copy of the resolution issued about one month ago, Te said he would have to ask permission from the PET first.
Robredo’s camp, on the other hand, has reserved comment.
“We will reserve comments until next week in deference to this season of Lent and Holy Week,” Robredo’s lawyer Romulo Macalintal said in a text message, adding that they would release a statement on Sunday instead.
Marcos filed the protest on June 29 last year, claiming that the camp of Robredo cheated in the automated polls in May also year. He sought annulment of about a million votes cast in three provinces – Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Maguindanao.
Robredo filed her answer in August last year and sought the dismissal of the protest for lack of merit and jurisdiction of PET.
But the PET, in a ruling earlier this year, junked Robredo’s plea and proceeded with the case after finding of sufficiency in form and substance.
Robredo won the vice presidential race with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos, who got 14,155,344 votes.