PET orders Robredo to pay electoral protest fee

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 25) — The Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) on Tuesday ordered Vice President Leni Robredo to pay the counter-protest poll fee.

The PET junked Robredo's motion for reconsideration of an earlier resolution which required her to pay the cash deposit.

"The PET denied protestee Robredo's motion for reconsideration on the resolution to pay the cash deposit as ordered in its previous (resolution) dated March 21," Supreme Court Spokesperson Theodore Te said in a media briefing.

"The PET directed Robredo to pay the cash deposit as stated in the resolution within non-extendable period of five days from notice of the resolution," he added.

The Supreme Court, sitting as the PET, ordered Robredo to pay ₱8 million within five days from receiving the high court's decision.

Robredo failed to pay last April 17 the first tranche of ₱8 million required to process her counter-protest with the PET.

The second installment to complete the total payment of ₱15.4 million is due on July 14.

Robredo's legal counsel, Bernadette Sardillo, told CNN Philippines in the evening that they had yet to receive the PET order, but said they respected the decision and would  pay the fees.

"Any payment of the cash deposit in our counter protest should not also be taken to mean that the election protest filed by former Sen. Marcos has any merit or legitimacy," Sardillo said in a phone interview.

Robredo's VP rival, former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., has complied with the PET's order for him to pay the first tranche of ₱36.023 million to fund the poll recount.

PET has required Marcos to pay ₱66 million and Robredo ₱15 million in two tranches in April and July 14 to fund their protests and counter-protests. A petitioner needs to pay ₱500 per contested precinct.

Dismissal of counter-protest

Marcos has also asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the counter-protest of Robredo for failure to meet payment deadline. But the Supreme Court is defering action on his motion to dismiss Robredo's counter-protest until she pays the fee.

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 on April 17.

Robredo has repeatedly maintained she won in clean and honest elections.

CNN Philippines correspondent Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.