MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Supreme Court (SC) ordered a cash payment of P81.46 million to proceed with the election protest of former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr against Vice President Leni Robredo.
Sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), the SC is requiring the Marcos camp to pay P66.02 million and the Robredo camp P15.43 million.
The amount, to be settled in cash, is payable in two tranches. Marcos has to pay P36.02 million on or before April 14 and another P30 million on or before July 14. Since April 14 falls on a holiday (Good Friday), the first deadline was moved to the next working day, which is Monday, April 17.
Meanwhile, Robredo will have to pay P8 million for the first tranche and P7.43 million on the next due date.
Marcos is seeking a recount in 27 provinces and cities, covering 39,221 clustered precincts composed of 132,446 precincts. Robredo, meanwhile, is contesting the results in 8,042 clustered precincts, consisting of 31,278 precincts.
PET rules require a fee of P500 for each precinct contested.
Motion for reconsideration
While the PET's latest order means progress for Marcos' case filed back in June 2016, his camp said they will file a motion for reconsideration regarding the required amount.
"Based on [the] PET resolution, it is P66 million. We will file an MR because the basis used in the computation is erroneous. They referred to the established precincts instead of clustered precincts," Marcos' lawyer and spokesperson Vic Rodriguez told Rappler in a text message.
There is a difference of P49 million when the fee for the clustered precincts and the established precincts is computed.
"We are very disappointed with the way the election protest of [former] Senator Marcos is treated. Aside from this inordinate delay, this particular resolution was issued last March 21 but released and made public only April 10," Rodriguez said, also pointing out the tight deadline for settling the amount.
Rappler asked the lawyers of the Vice President for comment but they said they are still studying the resolution.