The Commission on Elections has been asked to cancel the certificate of candidacy (COC) of deposed Laguna Gov. Emilio Ramon “E.R.” Ejercito and his son, Jorge Antonio, who are both running for governor in the province.
The petition, filed by former Pagsanjan Mayor Abner Afuang, was heard on Thursday before the Comelec’s First Division, chaired by Senior Commissioner Christian Albert Lim.
In a 16-page petition, Afuang cited the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the Comelec’s order to disqualify E.R. for spending an amount in excess of what is allowed by the Omnibus Election Code during the 2013 elections.
“In an obvious attempt to put the election process in mockery and disrepute, respondent Ejercito is again vying for the same position which he has been previously removed. As what is apparent herein, respondent Ejercito altogether wants to put in oblivion his previous election offenses to the detriment of the electorate of the whole province of Laguna,” he said.
The elder Ejercito is running under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) ticket while his son Jorge Antonio is an independent candidate.
Afuang also brought to the attention of the Commission ER’s use of different names and signatures in his certificate of nomination and acceptance (Cona) issued by the Una and Coc.
In his Cona, the actor/politician used the name Emilio Ramon P. Ejercito, while he used Jeorge “ER” Ejercito Estregan in his COC. His signatures in said documents were also different from one another.
According to Afuang, the use of different signatures by ER was highly suspect, reminiscent of the forged signatures in the latter’s advertising contracts with a television station in 2013.
Afuang also pointed out that in using different signatures, ER violated Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code for deliberately making material misrepresentations in his COC.
As for ER’s son, Jorge, filing of COC for governor, Afuang said the act completed the mockery of the whole election process.
“This despicable act is a very clear indication that the respondents are putting the election process in mockery and disrepute in order to advance their whims,” petitioner said. “Further, what is foremost evident is that both the respondents are contravening laws just to grab the gubernatorial seat in the province of Laguna to the detriment of the electorate.”
Counsel for the Ejercitos, lawyer Romulo Macalintal said that ER is no nuisance candidate because he is capable and known all over the province of Laguna.
Macalintal likewise pointed out that “a nuisance petition can only be filed by an opposing candidate” and Afuang is not a candidate for governor of Laguna.
ER, for his part, said that it was a desperate move by the Liberal Party and the Nacionalista Party in Laguna.