MANILA- Former Senator Bongbong Marcos went to the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday to pay more than P30 million for his election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.
Marcos personally went to the SC compound to make the P36.023 million payment in cashier's check for the first installment, beating Monday's deadline for his compliance with the tribunal's order.
The amount was the required first tranche of payment ordered by the high court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), for the cost of retrieval of contested poll materials, consisting of election documents and ballot boxes, in relation to his poll protest against Robredo.
The former senator said the money was raised by his friends and supporters.
“Buti na lang may mga kaibigan ako na nagmagandang loob. Sila ay naniniwala na tama at makatarunguan ang aking protesta kaya naman sila ay nagkaisa at inipon nila ang kanilang maibibigay," he said.
(It's a good thing that I have friends who were generous. They believe that my protest is right and just which is why they united and saved what they could give.)
Marcos added that he hopes the initial payment would move his protest forward.
"Mag-iisang taon na mula nung nakaraang halalan hanggang ngayon hindi pa alam ng taong bayan kung sino ba talaga ang nanalo bilang bise president noong nakaraang halalan," he said.
(It has almost been a year since the last election and until now the public still does not know who won as vice president during the last elections.)
The PET directed Marcos and Robredo to shell out P66.02-million and P15.44-million respectively, for their poll protest and counter-protest in relation to the May 2016 elections.
Both camps had until 5 p.m. on Monday to make payments in relation to the first installment. The PET directed Robredo to pay P8 million for the first installment.
The deadline for the payment for the second tranche, P30 million for Marcos and P7.44 million for Robredo, is on July 14.
Marcos was studying the possible filing of a motion questioning the amount required by the PET, insisting that the figure should have been based on a per cluster computation at P500 per cluster, instead of the P500 per precinct computation arrived at by the tribunal.
Marcos' protest covers 39,221 clustered precincts composed of a total of 132,446 precincts, while Robredo's counter-protest covers 8,042 clustered precincts composed of 31,278 precincts
In a manifestation filed with the PET last week, Robredo said it would be "premature" for her to make the necessary payments since this was "not yet necessary pending determination of the merits of [Marcos'] election protest," and in light of her pending motion for reconsideration on the PET's ruling finding Marcos' protest sufficient in form and substance.
Marcos lost to Robredo by just 263,473 votes, making the 2016 vice-presidential contest the tightest vice-presidential race in recent history.-- With reports from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News