BBM pays P36 M for election protest

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 17) — Losing vice president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has paid the Supreme Court (SC) P36 million for his election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.

The amount, pooled by 40 of Marcos' "friends and supporters," is only half of the total payment required by the SC, which sits as the Philippine Electoral Tribunal (PET).

In a statement, Marcos' camp said "PET gave him only less than 48 hours to comply last week."

"Marcos, through his lawyer George Erwin Garcia, received the PET's order dated March 21, 2017 only on April 10, 2017 requiring him to pay P66.223 million to cover for the cost of the retrieval of the ballot boxes and other election paraphernalia in his contested precincts," the statement read.

The deadline for the first tranche, which amounts to P36.023 million, was on Good Friday, April 14. This gave Marcos less than two days to pay the protest fee, as April 12, 13, and 14 are declared holidays in Manila, where the SC office is located.

Marcos said he complied with the order despite disagreements with the calculations and the timing of the order.

"Pinagbabayad kami ng mahigit 30 million kahit na Semana Santa, kahit na Good Friday, Holy Thursday. Buti na lang may mga kaibigan akong nagmagandang loob, sila'y naniniwala na tama, makatarungan ang aking protesta kaya naman sila'y nagkaisa," Marcos said.

[Translation:We were asked to pay more than P 30 million even if it is holy week, Good Friday, Holy Thursday. Good thing I have friends who believe in the validity of my protest.]

Marcos' camp said they received the resolution ordering the payment 20 days after it was promulgated.

Atty. Vic Rodriguez, Marcos' legal counsel, said the payment is non-refundable.

"If the SC will grant our prayer for recomputation, the Tribunal then will have to reimburse or refund the excess of (Marcos) payment," Rodriguez told CNN Philippines.

The next tranche, which amounts to P 30 million, is due on July 14.

Marcos filed an electoral protest on June 29, 2016, contesting election results from some 39,000 precincts from 25 provinces and cities.

"Mag-iisang taon na mula nung nakaraang halalan. Hanggang ngayon hindi pa alam ng taong bayan kung sino ba talaga ang nanalo bilang bise presidente nung nakaraang halalan," Marcos said.

[Translation: It's almost a year since the 2016 elections. Until now, the people are still wondering who really won as vice president.]

CNN Philippines' correspondent Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.