In this file photo, Sen. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. reads a copy of the Pilipino Star Ngayon as staff of the tabloid look on during his visit to The STAR in Manila yesterday.
The STAR/Ernie Peñaredondo
Bongbong pays P36M for poll protest
Rosette Adel (philstar.com) - April 17, 2017 - 6:49pm

MANILA, Philippines— Former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who lost in the vice presidential elections in 2016, on Monday afternoon paid the first installment required for his poll protest before the Supreme Court.

Marcos personally went to the Supreme Court in Padre Faura, Manila, accompanied  by his election lawyer George Garcia to pay the first tranche of P36 million to cover the cost of a recount in his electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.

“Galing lang ako sa opisina ng clerk of court ng Supreme Court at ako’y nag-comply sa order ng Supreme Court na bayaran na yung first tranche para sa protesta ko,” Marcos said in a recorded ambush interview.

“May disagreement sa pagkalkula pati na sa pag-isyu ng order dahil pinagbabayad kami ng 33 (36) million kahit na Semana Santa, kahit na Good Friday, Holy Thursday,” he added.

Marcos,from whose family the government has been trying to recover ill-gotten wealth allegedly amassed during ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos' decades in power, said his friends helped him source out the P36,023,000 installment payment.

He added that these friends also wrote an open letter addressed to the SC to resolve his case.

“Buti na lang may mga kaibigan ako na nag-magandang loob silay naniniwala na tama at makatarungan ang aking protesta kaya naman silay nagkaisa, inipon ang kanilang maiibigay,” Marcos, who declared a net worth of P200 million as of Dec. 31, 2014 in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth, said.

“Masyado nang matagal ang isang taon. Mag-iisang taon na mula nung nakaraang halalan, hanggang ngayon hindi pa alam ng taumbayan kung sino ba talaga ang nanalo bilang bise-presidente,” he added.

Last April 12, the SC, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), required Marcos to pay cash deposits on or before April 14. Marcos was asked to pay another P30 million on or before July 14, 2017 for the retrieval of ballots.

‘No further delay’

Marcos said since Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada declared April 12 a non-working holiday for all government employees, the offices of the SC were closed on April 12, 13 and 14. Due to this, he instead opted to pay on Monday since he had less than 48 hours to come up with P36 million before the deadline.

The former senator’s camp said that they decided to pool their resources to pay the required cash in order to avoid a delay in the proceedings.

“We have done this because it is our heartfelt wish that the election protest to be resolve with dispatch. 10 months is too long for this open wound to fester. The insecurity and instability is not good for the country,” Marcos’s supporters said in a statement.

“We thus look to you, the esteemed members of the SC to resolve the confusion and doubt that has plagued us since May 2016,” the open letter added.

Marcos earlier filed a protest questioning the integrity and reliability of the Vote Counting Machines, Consolidating Canvass System  units, secure digital  cards and other storage devices used for the 92,509 clustered precincts during the May 9, 2016 local and national elections. He is calling for an election recount in his move he called “First cause of Action.”

Meanwhile, PET also required counter-protestant Robredo to pay cash deposits in two installments of P8 million on or before April 14 and P7.449 million on July 14, 2017.

Robredo’s election lawyer, Romulo Macalintal, on Monday however said the Marcos camp should not only pay cash deposits of P66 million for the 36,465 clustered precincts but  P185 million for all the 92,509 clustered precincts covered by the latter’s poll protest.

Macalintal said that if every party shall pay P500 per established precinct, the total assessment for Marcos should be P185 million since his protest covers 369,138 established precincts.

BONGBONG MARCOS ELECTIONS LENI ROBREDO SUPREME COURT
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