• Ejercito disqualification gathers dust in Comelec

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    NEARLY six months after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) disqualified incumbent Laguna Governor Emilio Ramon “E.R.” Ejercito for campaign overspending, the poll body has yet to resolve the motion for reconsideration filed by the governor before it.

    Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said that the motion for reconsideration filed by Ejercito is still pending before the Comelec’s first division.

    In September 2013, the Comelec’s first division has resolved a resolution to disqualify Ejercito for spending over P6 million for his television advertisement alone in the May 13, 2013 polls.

    Under the Comelec law, provincial candidates are only allowed to spend a total amount of P4.5-million for the entire campaign period.

    Since a candidate can only spend P3 per voter and with Laguna’s population of 1.525 million, Ejercito clearly overspent for his campaign.

    The Comelec gave Ejercito five days to file his motion for reconsideration before them.

    In October 2013, the camp  of Ejercito moved to have  his disqualification casefor overspending reversed.

    Jimenez said Ejercito’s motion for reconsideration questioned why his political rival Edgar San Luis filed his disqualification against Ejercito at the Comelec Law Department, when it should have been at the First Division. It was on the basis of San Luis’ motion to disqualify Ejercito that Comelec disqualified him.

    Ejercito did not however, answer the ground for his disqualification, which is election overspending.

    “The Commission therefore committed a grave error when it conveniently arrogated unto itself the exclusive power of the authorized legal officers of this Honorable Commission to take cognizance of an election offense such as that filed by the Petitioner in this case,” a portion of Ejercito’s 28-page motion read.

    Meanwhile, the poll body sitting as en banc would discuss the merits of the motion. Should Ejercito fail anew he can always proceed to the Supreme Court, if the en banc rules against him.

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