THE Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), has ordered former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to pay P63 million for the recount of votes in his poll protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.
Robredo was ordered to pay P15.4 million.
The tribunal directed Marcos to deposit P33 million before April 14, Good Friday. The P30 million should be paid before July 14.
Robredo was also ordered to pay the P15.4 million in two installments—P8 million on or before April 14, 2017 and P7.4 million on or before July 14.
A source at the court said that Chief Justice Lourdes Aranal-Sereno “hostaged” the release of the resolution.
Marcos’ lawyer George Erwin Garcia hot hold of the resolution on April 10, 2017. The source said the court en banc ruled on the issue on March 21, 2017.
The source said that the resolution was “stuck” in the office of Sereno and was released “belatedly.”
“Inipit ni Sereno yung resolution ni Bongbong. Biruin mo March 21 pa na en banc yan tapos ilalabas niya kung kailan Holy Week para gipitin si Bongbong sa pagbabayad ng protest nya (Sereno sat on the resolution. The en banc tackled the issue on March 21 but she released it on Holy Week to make it difficult for Marcos to pay the amount)” the source said.
As a matter of procedure, the ponente shall make the draft as agreed during the en banc and this will be sent to the chief justice for approval and release of the resolution.
Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa is the ponente of the election protest.
The source said that with the late release of the resolution, Marcos will be at a disadvantage because if he fails to pay the amount on time, his poll protest will be dismissed.
However, under the Rules of Court, if the last day to comply with the order of the court falls on a holiday, the payment or compliance shall be made on the next working day. This means that the Marcos camp is obliged to deposit the money with the court on April 17, a Monday, since Black Saturday and Easter Sunday are holidays.
The PET ruled that Marcos should pay P500 for each of the 132,446 precincts where votes for the vice presidential election will be counted.
In his protest, Marcos questioned the election result in 39,221 clustered precincts.
Marcos lost to Robredo by only 263,473 votes. The former senator claimed that he was cheated.