Bongbong fully pays P66-M poll case bond

Marcos paid last Monday the second tranche and remaining balance of P30,000,200 in two checks amounting to P15,000,000 and P15,000,200. Bongbong Marcos/Released, File

Bongbong fully pays P66-M poll case bond

Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - July 11, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines - Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has fully paid the P66.02-million cash bond required by the Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), for his protest against Vice President Leni Robredo regarding the result of last year’s polls.

Marcos paid last Monday the second tranche and remaining balance of P30,000,200 in two checks amounting to P15,000,000 and P15,000,200.

His lawyer George Garcia claimed that Marcos sold a condominium unit to raise the amount. 

Last April, Marcos paid the first tranche amounting to P36,023,000, which his camp said came from contributions from supporters.

Robredo also earlier paid P8 million for the first tranche of the P15.43-million bond required by the PET for her counter-protest against Marcos.

Her camp said she is set to pay the remaining P7.43 million on the deadline of payment set by the tribunal this Friday.

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.”

Meanwhile, the tribunal, composed of 15 justices of the high court, held a preliminary conference on the case yesterday. 

The camps of Marcos and Robredo faced each other for the first time as the PET tackled issues to be resolved in the protest and counter-protest in a closed-door hearing.

In a press conference after the hearing, Marcos said he is pleased that the process on his protest has been moving.

“What is clear with the justices is that they are very interested in proceeding to the arguments and finally to the revision of the counting of votes. We are thankful that the justices are also interested in how to speed up the process so that our people will really know the real count of votes,” he said.

Garcia said Robredo’s camp tried to delay the process by raising issues that should not have been part of the case.

“Good thing the tribunal really wanted to open the ballot boxes because they really wanted to find out the truth,” he said.

But according to Robredo’s lawyer Maria Bernadette Sardillo, the justices raised questions during the hearing but have not yet resolved pending motions earlier filed by both camps.

In an interview outside the SC, the lawyer revealed that several justices raised concerns on the feasibility and practicability of the plea of Marcos’ camp for a recount and revision of voting results.

“One of the justices said it would be logistically hard for the tribunal to conduct the recount,” Sardillo said.

She also cited the comment made by another justice that it might be hard to reexamine the results in the vice presidential contest without considering the implications on the results in other key positions given that the elections were automated.

Sardillo further bared that the justices wanted to limit the number of witnesses to three per contested clustered precinct.

After the preliminary conference attended by eight justices, the tribunal is expected to issue a ruling on the pending motions of the parties.

Marcos filed the protest on June 29 last year, claiming that the camp of Robredo cheated in the automated polls the month prior.

Confident

With the hearings on the electoral protest already rolling, Robredo expressed confidence she would still emerge as the winner in last year’s vice presidential race.

Asked in Naga City how she is preparing for the case, Robredo said she believes the truth is on her side.

“Our preparation is always the truth. As long as the truth is on our side, we have nothing to fear,” she said, adding that she believes in the integrity of the SC.

“I cannot discuss the merits of the case because it’s sub judice, but we’re leaving the process to the Supreme Court,” said the Vice President, a former pro-bono lawyer.

Robredo beat Marcos by more than 200,000 votes.

Vigil

 Meanwhile, hundreds of supporters of Marcos camped out near the SC compound at the corner of Padre Faura Street and Taft Avenue in Manila last Monday evening, on the eve of the hearing. 

Wearing red, the Marcos supporters lighted candles and waved “Katotohanan” (truth) streamers. 

At about 10 p.m., Marcos visited his supporters to thank them.   – With Helen Flores, Perseus Echeminada

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