Losing vice presidential bet Bongbong Marcos’ camp has asked the Supreme Court (SC), acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to stand by its earlier ruling dismissing the plea of Vice President Leni Robredo’s supporters that they be allowed to pay the balance of her counter-protest fee.
In his comments on the plea of the Piso Para Kay Leni Movement, Marcos said the 2010 PET Rules underscored that an electoral protest was strictly a contest between the defeated and the winning candidates and allowing petitioners to intervene by granting their plea would be “highly unprocedural” and has no legal or factual basis.
“It appears that the only purpose of the movants in intervening in the case is to provide financial assistance to the protestee in defraying the cash deposit required for the counter-protest,” he said in his reply dated Sept. 15, made available to reporters Thursday.
He added that this could be achieved without them intervening in the electoral protest.
The former senator said Robredo’s supporters could opt to donate the amount directly to her should they see fit.
The Piso Para Kay Leni Movement, led by Museo Pambata chair Cristina Lim-Yuson, has asked the PET to allow them to pay the rest of Robredo’s counter-protest fee amounting to P7.4 million.
The PET had originally directed Robredo to pay P15.4 million.
Aside from Lim-Yuson, the other petitioners are former social welfare secretary Dinky Soliman, former human rights commissioner Paulynn Sicam, former Bases Conversion and Development Authority board director Zorayda Amelia Alonzo, award-winning singer Celeste Legaspi-Gallardo, and Ateneo de Manila University Press director Karina Bolasco.
The petitioners said there was a need for the PET to reverse its earlier ruling since what has been raised is a matter of “transcendental importance”.
“This is a necessary exercise of the right of suffrage, considering that VP Leni will be deprived of her victory, we will be deprived of her victory because she is financially disadvantaged,” they said in their plea.
They added that the earlier PET decision denied them their right to protect their vote for Robredo.
Likewise, they said they were able to establish that they have “locus standi” or the ability to demonstrate to the court sufficient connection to and harm from the law or action challenged to support their participation in the case.
The group said they have already raised P7,442,859.34 from more than 20,000 people as of August 30
Robredo won the vice presidential race with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos who obtained 14,155,344 votes. (PNA)