The Supreme Court has ruled with finality in ousting Gov. Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito of Laguna by affirming the Commission on Elections (Comelec) order removing him from his post because of overspending during the May 2013 polls.
During the regular Tuesday deliberation of the High Tribunal en banc, the Court stood firm on its November 2015 ruling in disqualifying Ejercito for overspending.
The High Tribunal junked the motion for reconsideration filed by Ejercito since the issues raised in it were mere re- hash and no new arguments were presented.
“The Court denied the motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner Ejercito of its decision dated November 25, 2014 on the ground that the basic issues raised in the motion for reconsideration had already been passed upon and that no substantial new arguments had been raised to merit a reconsideration,” the Court pointed out.
In its November 2014 ruling, the High Tribunal “voting 12-0, denied the petition filed by petitioner Emilio Ramon ‘ER’ Ejercito, it thus upheld the May 1, 2014 resolution of public respondent Comelec en banc in SPA No. 13-306, which in turn upheld the September 26, 2013 resolution of the Comelec First Division which granted the petition for disqualification filed by private respondent Edgar San Luis.”
In its resolution, the Comelec ruled that Ejercito should be ousted from office for going beyond the campaign spending limit of P4.5 million. Ejercito spent P23.56 million during the May 2013 gubernatorial race in Laguna.
Ejercito stressed that the mode of complaint filed by San Luis is erroneous since what was filed was for the prosecution of election offenses, not a disqualification case. He said that a disqualification case is a different proceeding for which he is entitled to due process.
He also questioned the evidence presented against him—the advertising contract between ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. and Scenema Concept Intl Inc.—which was not formally offered as evidence before the election court.
Also, Ejercito said he cannot be made liable for the acts of a third party.
But all of the arguments of Ejercito was thrown out by the High Tribunal.