MANILA - The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday filed a motion before the Supreme Court seeking clarification of its order directing her to deposit P15.44 million for her petition to dismiss the poll protest filed by former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.
According to Atty. Romulo Macalintal, the rules do not require them to deposit the amount yet, and insisted that Marcos should be the one to pay first because he filed the election protest.
"Lahat ng election protest, ganoon. Uunahin muna ang nagpoprotesta. Kapag natapos na ang mga nabuksang balota at tingin niya ay meron siyang na-recover, at sa tingin ng pinoprotesta ay dapat sagutin 'yan, saka namin pabubuksan ang ballot boxes," he said in a press conference.
The High Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, directed Robredo and Marcos to shell out a total of P81.46 million for their separate election protests.
Of this amount, P66.02 million will be used for the retrieval of poll materials for the protest of Marcos, while P15.44 million will be used to retrieve election materials for Robredo's petition.
Macalintal, however, said Marcos should pay a total of P185 million because Marcos' protest has a first cause of action that includes all 92,000 clustered precincts.
This part of his protest, said the counsel of Robredo, is also the reason why the vote-counting machines used in the 2017 elections were not returned to Smartmatic on time.
"Actually, meron pang naka-pending na negotiations betwen Comelec and Smartmatic kasi sinisingil ng Smartmatic ang Comelec ng close to P2.9 billion because Comelec failed to return on time itong mga vote-counting machine," he said.
Macalintal, meanwhile, stressed that they are not abandoning their obligations. He said they just want to the order of the Supreme Court clarified.
"We are not abandoning our obligations... We just want to be clarified kung bakit kami magbabayad ngayon e wala pa namang pruweba na meron na siyang nare-recover na mga balota," he said.