ORDERS LEGARDA TO PAY P3.38M AS DE CASTRO ASKS TO SPEED UP RECOUNT OR
CASE TO LAST TILL 2013
12 March 2006
Electoral Tribunal (PET) directed former Senator Loren Legarda to "make
a full cash deposit of P3,382,000.00" and to comment on Vice President
Noli “Kabayan” De Castro's motion to create more revision teams to
expedite the resolution of her election protest.
In a one-page resolution of February 28, the PET gave Legarda a
non-extendible period of ten (10) days to deposit the said amount and a
non-extendible period of five (5) days to comment on De Castro's motion
for additional revision teams.
De Castro, through his lawyers Romulo Macalintal and Alberto Agra
argued that at the rate the revision of ballots from protested
precincts is going on, it would take until 2013 to terminate just the
revision phase of Legarda's protest. Hence, they moved the court to
create 25, 50 or 75 additional revision teams in addition to the
existing 25 revision committees currently undertaking the revision and
recount of ballots.
De Castro alleged that 124,404 precincts from 44 provinces and cities
were protested by Legarda where she asked for the revision and recount
As of the filing of his motion, the PET had just revised 36% of the
7,744 Legarda's protested precincts
from the Province
of Cebu, which is
her pilot protested precincts. The PET has yet to gather or collect the
ballot boxes from the Provinces of Pampanga and Maguindanao, the two
other pilot protested precincts which consist of about 10,000 precincts.
"Thus, based on this estimation, the revision of ballots from Cebu,
Maguindanao and Pampanga would last until December 2006 and the
revision of ballots from the remaining 41 protested provinces or cities
could be finished possibly in seven years from now, or in December
2013", De Castro's motion alleged.
The De Castro camp also noted that since the case is still pending, the
124,404 boxes containing the ballots from the 124,404 precincts could
not be used for the 2007 elections.
"If not resolved in time for the said elections, the Commission on
Elections would incur an additional expense of close to P186 million of
people's money since one ballot box is estimated to cost at least one
thousand pesos each" Macalintal said.
“Thus, there is a need for these additional revision committees to
greatly help in resolving the apparently baseless and frivolous
protest," Macalintal said.
Macalintal also maintains that the early resolution of the electoral
protest would thwart the tactic of the
opposing camp of casting a cloud of doubt on the legitimacy of Vice
President De Castro's victory in the 2004 election.