Dismiss Leni’s protest – Bongbong asks PET

Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - April 21, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. asked the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday to dismiss the counter election protest filed by Vice President Leni Robredo after she failed to pay the required P8-million initial installment for the case.

“In view of the failure on the part of the protestee/counter-protestant to pay the first tranche of the cash deposit for her counter protest within the deadline set by this Honorable Tribunal, protestant Marcos is now constrained to move for the immediate dismissal of the counter protest,” Marcos’ legal counsel George Erwin Garcia said in an eight-page omnibus motion filed before the SC that also sits as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).

Garcia also said Robredo’s filing of a manifestation with urgent ex-parte omnibus motion does not excuse her from paying the cash deposit since the move is obviously dilatory.

“Robredo’s intention to further delay the proceedings in this case is evident from the arguments raised in her latest submission. Protestant Marcos finds it quite ironic that Robredo would ask for the deferment of the payment of her cash deposit even though she had already expressed her conformity and willingness to pay the same in the…motion,” Garcia added.

Marcos also reiterated his earlier request for the immediate setting of the preliminary conference.

Last March 21, the SC ordered Marcos, as protestant, to pay P66,223,000 while  Robredo, the counter-protestant, was directed to pay P15,639,000.

The first payment was supposed to have been paid on or before April 14, but was moved to April 17, since April 14 was a holiday, Good Friday. The second payment is set on July 14.

Last April 17, Marcos was able to comply and deposited P36,023,000 in the form of a cashier’s check with the SC’s Cash Collection and Disbursement Division.

Robredo did not pay P8 million and instead filed her motion for clarification and for reconsideration of the March 21 resolution.

Robredo won by 263,473 votes over Marcos in the vice presidential race last May 9, 2016.

Marcos questioned the results in several provinces consisting of 662 municipalities and their component cities, and claimed the 2,537 clustered precincts from five highly urbanized cities contained facts on the alleged irregularities and anomalies.

The Vice President, however, is also required to pay P15,439,000 for her counter-protest, in which she questions the results of 31,278 established precincts.

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.

Robredo’s lead counsel Romulo Macalintal said they would comply with the SC order after Marcos has established his case as protestant.

“We will wait for the PET to resolve the matter,” he added. – With Pia Lee-Brago

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