Marcos pays P50-K fine for violating gag order on poll recount

MANILA — The camp of former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has already paid the PHP50,000 fine, as ordered by the Supreme Court (SC) sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), in connection with his violation of the gag order on the recount of votes for the May 2016 vice presidential race.

Aside from Marcos, Vice President Leni Robredo was also directed to pay PHP50,000 for similar arguments and public discussion of the merits of the poll protest cases and in media interviews.

In a compliance document, Marcos manifested that he has already paid the amount last July 11 under the June 26, 2018 resolution of the PET.

“Protestant Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. (protestant Marcos) through the undersigned counsels, unto this Honorable Tribunal (PET), most respectfully manifests that he has paid the amount of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000) in compliance with its Resolution dated 26 June 2018,” it stated.

The copy of the official receipt no. 0214433-SC-EP was also attached to the said pleading.

It was on April 10 when the PET directed both parties to show cause and explain why they should not be cited in contempt for violating the resolutions dated Feb. 13, 2018 and Mar. 20, 2018.

In a resolution dated Feb. 13, the tribunal ordered the parties to strictly observe the sub judice rule pending the proceedings of the instant case.

This was reiterated in another resolution dated March 20, 2018.

However, despite the PET’s stern directives, several news reports showed that the parties, their counsels or their representatives, continued to disclose sensitive information regarding the revision process to the public, a clear violation of the tribunal’s resolutions.

The manual recount of votes began on March 19 covering Marcos’ three pilot provinces namely, Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental.

Marcos filed the protest on June 29, 2016, claiming the camp of Robredo cheated in the automated polls in May that year.

In his protest, Marcos contested the results from 132,446 precincts in 39,221 clusters, covering 27 provinces and cities.

Robredo was declared the winner of the vice presidential race in the May 2016 polls with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos’ 14,155,344 votes.