VP Robredo pays counter-protest fee upon SC's order

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 2) — The electoral protest over the vice-presidency took a step forward Tuesday when Vice President Leni Robredo paid P8 million for her counter-protest against former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

Robredo paid the first tranche of her counter-protest fee on orders of the Supreme Court.

The Vice President said coming up with P8 million was challenging.

"Naihabol po natin. Hindi naging madali para sa atin na maglipon ng P8 million na deposit," she told reporters in a chance interview in front of the Supreme Court after making the payment.

[Translation: We were able to make it. It wasn't easy coming up with the P8 million deposit.]

Her legal counsel Barry Gutierrez detailed how they were able to produce the money.

"Bahagi ng pera ay galing sa personal na pondo ng bise presidente habang ang natitira ay inutang niya sa mga kamag-anak ng kanyang yumaong asawa na si Sec. Jesse Robredo. Ito'y sina Vicente Hao Chin, Pablito Chua at Rafael Bundoc," Gutierrez said in a statement.

[Translation: A portion of the money came from the Vice President's personal funds. The remaining were loaned from the relatives of her late husband Sec. Jesse Robredo, namely Vicente Hao Chin, Pablito Chua, and Rafael Bundoc.]

The Vice President said her fight against the Marcos family motivated her to pursue the counter-protest and the payment of the fee.

"Kahit po hindi naging madali, ito po ay isang bagay na pagsisikapan natin dahil ang laban pong ito ay hindi po para sa akin. Alam po natin na malaki ang dahilan kung bakit tayo tumakbo — para harangan ang pagbabalik muli ng pamilyang Marcos sa kapangyarihan," she said as her supporters cheered.

[Translation: It was not an easy task but we persevered because this fight is not just about me. We ran for the vice presidency to block the return of the Marcoses in power.]

Marcos' legal counsel Vic Rodriguez said they are glad that Robredo finally complied with the PET's order.

"We would like to congratulate Mrs. Robredo for finally respecting and recognizing the jurisdiction and authority of the tribunal as well as of all the justices that comprise the PET. We're elated that finally, sinunod na rin nya yung mga lawful orders ng Korte Suprema o ng tribunal (she followed the lawful orders of the Supreme Court or the tribunal)," he told CNN Philippines in an interview.

The Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), ordered Robredo on April 25 to pay the fee after it junked Robredo's motion for reconsideration of an earlier resolution which required her to pay the cash deposit.

Robredo failed to pay last April 17 the first tranche required to process her counter-protest with the PET.

The second installment to complete the total payment of P15.4 million is due on July 14.

Marcos has complied with the PET's order for him to pay the first tranche of P36.023 million to fund the poll recount through some 40 friends and supporters.

Related: BBM pays P36 M for election protest

PET has required Marcos to pay P66 million and Robredo P15 million in two tranches to fund their protests and counter-protests. A petitioner needs to pay P500 per contested precinct.

Marcos filed an electoral protest on June 29, 2016, contesting election results from some 39,000 precincts from 25 provinces and cities.

CNN Philippines' correspondent Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.