THE Supreme Court is open to extending the deadline for the payment of the balance of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo’s counter poll protest amounting to P7 million, her lawyers said on Wednesday.
Beng Sardillo and Romulo Macalintal disclosed this in the aftermath of the preliminary conference on the case lodged by former sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. against Robredo before the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).
The Supreme Court gave the green light to recount the votes of three provinces, which Marcos identified — Camarines Sur, Negros Oriental and Iloilo. These were the areas where Robredo won based on the official tally of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Robredo beat Marcos in the May 2016 polls by 263,473 votes.
“We asked the Supreme Court justices if we may be allowed to pay the remaining balance at a later time instead of Friday, and we were given additional time and told to file a motion [for extending the deadline],” Sardillo said in a chance interview with reporters.
“We argued before the Supreme Court that since the Vice President’s dues were for counter protest, we would like to see the results of the recount of the three provinces first, a recount sought and paid for by Mr. Marcos. In the event that Mr. Marcos’ protest is dismissed [based on the recount of three provinces], the cash deposit from Vice President Robredo won’t be needed anymore,” Sardillo said.
The high court set Robredo’s counter-protest dues at P15.4 million because she was protesting the results in 8,042 clustered precincts composed of 31,278 established precincts.
Marcos, on the other hand, has made the full payment of P66 million for his protest of the election results in 39,221 clustered precincts composed of 132,446 established precincts.
Robredo’s initial deposit of P8 million was taken from her personal funds and contributions from relatives of her late husband who were identified as Vicente Hao Chin, Pablito Chua and Rafael Bundoc.
Robredo’s husband is Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo who died in a plane crash in 2012.