MANILA - (UPDATED) The Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal on Wednesday, directed Vice President Leni Robredo and former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos to shell out a total of P81.46 million for their separate election protests.
Of this amount, the High Court said P66.02 million will be used for the retrieval of poll materials for the protest of Marcos, who is contesting his defeat to Robredo in the May 2016 elections.
The remaining P15.44 million will be used to retrieve election materials for Robredo's petition to dismiss Marcos' protest.
Marcos' petition covers 132,446 voting precincts while Robredo's counter-protest covers 31,278 precincts. A budget of P500 is needed to retrieve election documents and ballot boxes from each precinct.
Both parties have made initial deposits of P200,000 each. This amount was already deducted from the P66.02 million and P15.44 million required from Marcos and Robredo, respectively.
The court ordered Marcos and Robredo to pay for the remaining amount in 2 tranches, the first of which should be received by the tribunal by April 14, which falls on a national holiday in observance of Good Friday.
Because of this, the payment for the first installment will be processed on April 17, Monday.
Marcos has to raise P33 million for the first installment and P30 million for the second installment.
Robredo is meanwhile required to pay P8 million for the first installment and P7.44 million for the second installment.
The deadline for the payment of the second installment is on July 14.
Marcos lost to Robredo by just 263,473 votes, making the 2016 vice-presidential contest the tightest vice-presidential race in recent history.