By Rey Panaligan and Raymund Antonio
The Supreme Court (SC), as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), denied on Tuesday (April 25) the plea of Vice President Leni Robredo to defer the payment of the P15.43-million cash deposit for her counter-protest against former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
In a resolution issued in Baguio City, the PET directed Robredo to P8 million within five days from receipt of the notice. The balance of P7.43 million should be paid on or before July 14, as stated in the March 21, 2017 resolution of the tribunal.
At the same time, the PET deferred action on Marcos’ motion to dismiss the counter-protest filed against him until Robredo complies with the cash deposit requirement.
The summary of the resolution released by the SC’s public information office (PIO) stated: “The PET DENIED protestee Robredo’s motion for reconsideration of the Resolution dated March 21, 2017 and DIRECTED protestee Robredo to pay the cash deposit as stated in the Resolution dated March 21, 2017 within a non-extendible period of five (5) days from notice of Resolution; and deferred action on protestant’s (Marcos) Omnibus Motion to Dismiss the Counter-Protest until protestee complies with the directive to pay the deposit.”
Earlier, the PET had required Marcos and Robredo to pay P66.223 million and P15.43 million, respectively, for the retrieval of the election materials, their turnover to the tribunal, and the recount of the votes in the election protest and counter-protest.
But since Marcos had deposited P200,000 upon the filing of his protest, he has to pay only the balance of P66.023 million, broken down as P36.023 million deposited with the SC last April 17 and the balance of P30 million to be paid on or before July 14.
Meanwhile, Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo expressed willingness to settle the first tranche of payment for her counter protest against former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Robredo’s lawyer Romulo Macalintal said they respect the decision of the PET. He reiterated that the Vice President is willing to “comply with her obligation to pay the P8 million for her counter protest.”