Upon thorough scrutiny of the COMELEC’s correspondence in digital copies with the Camp of Bongbong Marcos, it can be concluded that the poll body only sent the demand letter to Marcos for the payment of the overseas storage fees in compliance with the order of the Supreme Court or PET. The Protestant already replied to it saying that the COMELEC must pay them because it is their duty to do so.
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[VIDEO]: NEWS BREAK: Election protest ni ex-Sen. Marcos vs. VP Robredo, may basehan – PET
In compliance with the directive of the Supreme Court or PET, the Office for Overseas Voting forwards a copy of the letter dated 10 July 2017 to Marcos’ laawyer, Atty. Erwin Garica. This is from Maria Lea R. Alarkon, Director III- OFOV-COMELEC, per PET notice dated 18 July 2017 on behalf of the COMELEC
Response within 5 Days
The said letter seeks the comment of the Protestant on COMELEC’s stand for him to pay the said overseas dues. However, Marcos reiterates that it is the duty of the COMELEC to find funds for it as the guardian of the necessary election materials. It is the mandate of the election agency to safeguard such contested ballots, he said. He was given 5 days to respond which he complied with.
Retrieval of Ballot Boxes
Marcos requests the retrieval of ballot boxes from the pilot provinces he mentioned right after paying the full amount of the protest fee ordered by the Supreme Court for him to pay. However, this still awaits Leni Robredo’s comments. Besides, she has not paid her balance of 7 M Pesos yet that delayed the process.
Supreme Court Ruling
It is clear that the cause of the delay is Robredo’s non-payment of her second tranche. Although her lawyer, Romulo Macalintal said that their fees are for the counter-protest and they must wait until the PET finds substance in Marcos’ electoral protest. However, the tribunal already repeated their ruling many times that they find Marcos’ protest substantial.