In order not to delay further the election protest, friends of and supporters of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. had chipped in to enable him to post the initial P36 million cash deposit required by the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).
In a letter submitted to the PET by Marcos himself, forty (40) friends and supporters of Marcos said they pooled their resources in order for the former Senator to come up with the initial cash deposit since the PET gave him only less than forty eight (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 Tribunal ordered him to pay in two installments – the first installment of P36.023 million cash deposit to be paid on or before April 14, 2017 (Good Friday) and the second installment of P30 million on before July 14, 2017.
The P200,000 filing fee initially paid Marcos when he filed the protest had been deducted from the cost requirement.
“Since President-Mayor Joseph Estrada declared Wednesday (April 12) as a non-working holiday for all government employees in Manila, the offices of the Supreme Court were closed on Wednesday (April 12), Holy Thursday (April 13) & Good Friday (April 14). Thus, if Bongbong were to comply with the April 14 deadline that would give him less than 48 hours to come up with PhP 36 million pesos. In order not to delay the proceedings any further, we decided to pool our resources so that the cash deposit of PhP 36 million would be paid,” they said.
They added, “(w)e have done this because it is our heartfelt wish that the election protest be resolved with dispatch.”
They further noted that without their help, the election protest, which has been ongoing for ten months without the setting of a preliminary conference, will be further delayed. “10 months is too long for this open wound to fester. This insecurity and instability is not good for the country,” they stressed.
“We thus look to you -- the esteemed members of the Supreme Court -- to resolve the confusion and doubt that has plagued us since May 2016,” they concluded.