Former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr on Monday, April 17, paid the first installment of the fee required for his election protest to progress.
Marcos insists Vice President Leni Robredo cheated her way to victory, and his compliance with the Supreme Court’s order to pay for the recount of ballots is one step forward in his legal battle.
The P36 million he forked over on Monday will be followed by P30 million more due on or before July 14, for a total of P66 million.
But the former senator did not seem keen on paying the amount at first. His lawyer and spokesperson Vic Rodriguez said last Wednesday, April 12, that they would file a motion for reconsideration questioning why the computation was based on the number of established precincts and not clustered precincts. (READ: Marcos must pay P185M for all poll precincts, says Robredo lawyer)
Rodriguez also said they were given too short a time to raise the funds – the SC issued its resolution on March 21 but it was made public only on April 10, with a deadline that happened to fall on a holiday (Good Friday, April 14), so it was moved to Monday.
“Was this a deliberate act of impounding the resolution so that BBM (Bongbong Marcos) will not be able to comply given the very limited amount of time due to the Holy Week break?” the lawyer added.
But Marcos said on Monday that they went ahead with the payment after “friends and supporters” pitched in.
“Masyado kaming minadali. Gaya ng sabi ko, mabuti na lang na maraming lumapit at nag-offer na tumulong,” the defeated vice presidential candidate said.
(We were forced to comply in such a short time. Like what I said, it’s a good thing there were many people who came to us and offered to help.)
Marcos said his donors – 40 in total – pooled the funds over the Holy Week break to make it to the Monday deadline.
In a letter that Marcos submitted to the SC, the donors were quoted as saying: “We have done this because it is our heartfelt wish that the election protest be resolved with dispatch… 10 months is too long for this open wound to fester. This insecurity and instability is not good for the country.”
Below are the names of the people who Marcos said came to his aid.