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Leni worried over legal fees in facing 'baseless' Bongbong case

In this July 27, 2016 photo, Vice President Leni Robredo speaks at the 66th anniversary of Philippine Life Insurance Association on her experiences with the rural poor. OVP/Released

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday said she is more worried about the expenses to be incurred by the case filed against her by Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. than about his allegations' merits.

Marcos filed a case on June 29 against Robredo before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal claiming that he was robbed of thousands of votes in the May 9 elections.

Robredo said the legal fees for her lawyer, Romulo Macalintal, had a different arrangement during the campaign period and she might no longer sustain the representation even as vice president.

"Tingin ko magiging mahal masyado. 'Yung initial deposit ata P200K. Mahirap 'yun sa akin kasi wala naman akong pagkukunan," Robredo said at a televised press briefing.

"Hindi naman ako nagwo-worry sa pageexplain ng sarili kasi baseless naman. Mas worried ako sa costs," she said.

Robredo said she has yet to speak with Macalintal since the protest of Marcos before the Supreme Court (SC) sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal is an extension of his previous representation for the vice president when she was still a candidate.

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"Baka 'pag siningil niya ako, sobrang mahal. I think si Atty. Macalintal alam niya naman 'yung limitasyon (of her financial capacity). Hindi ko pa siya nakakausap," Robredo said.

Robredo said that she just wants the poll protest to be over so she can focus on her new role as the country's vice president and as the new Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) secretary.

Aside from the cost, the vice president said she is worried about the time and effort it will take to answer the protest and might eventually require her to takes leaves from her official duties.

Marcos's petition filed the day before Robredo was sworn in includes 20,000 pages of annexes consisting of affidavits and other files. The main petition comprises 1,000 pages.

In this June 29, 2016 file photo, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. stands next to his 1,000-page petition questioning the victory of vice president-elect Leni Robredo in the May polls as he filed yesterday a protest at the Supreme Court, which sits as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. STAR/Miguel de Guzman

"Ili-leave ko na lang sa abogado 'yung pagsagot. Hindi naman kami naga-alala sa pag-explain ng sarili kasi wala namang tinatago e. Mas gusto ko sana makapag-concentrate sa trabaho lalo na ngayon na dalawa na 'yung assignment ko hindi na lang Office of the Vice President pero pati HUDCC," Robredo said.

"Parang gusto ko na rin to get it (the electoral protest) out of the way. 'Yung abogado ko na lang 'yung magasikaso pero siyempre maraming trabaho iyon. Kahit pa baseless 'yung accusation siyempre kailangan mo sumagot, kailangan mag-file ng pleadings, kailangan mag-submit ng ebidensya, so 'yun 'yung mas worry ko," she added.

Robredo held the press conference a day after Supreme Court summoned the vice president to answer Marcos's electoral protest within 10 days of receipt. The high court also issued a precautionary protection order for the Commission on Elections to preserve the integrity of all election materials effective immediately.

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