ER Ejercito ousted as Laguna governor

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The Supreme Court has ruled to oust Laguna governor Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito.

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The ruling affirmed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) order removing him from his post for overspending during the May 2013 polls.

During Tuesday’s regular deliberation of the SC en banc, with a unanimous vote of 12 Justices, it finally closed the door on the Laguna governor.

“The court, voting 12-0, [has]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,” the SC ruled.

Associate Justices Arturo Brion and Estela Perlas-Bernabe were on leave while Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza took no part for he entered the case when he was still the Solicitor General.

In its resolution, the Comelec ruled that Ejercito should be ousted from office for going beyond the campaign spending limit of P4.5 million.

He spent P23.56 million during the May 2013 gubernatorial race.

Ejercito said the mode of complaint filed by San Luis is erroneous since what was filed was for prosecution of election offenses, not a disqualification case.

He added that a disqualification case is a different proceeding and as such he is entitled to due process.

Ejercito also questioned the evidence presented against him—an advertising contract between ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. And Scenema Concept Intl. Inc.—which was not formally offered as evidence before the election court.

Also, he said he cannot be made liable for acts of a third party.

But all of these arguments were not bitten by the High Court.

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