STA. CRUZ, LAGUNA: “Ako po ay mananatiling gobernador ng Laguna ngayon at magpakailanman [I will remain as Laguna governor now and forever.”
This was part of the emphatic speech delivered by ousted Laguna Governor Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito Tuesday night in front of his supporters who have been camping out at the capitol grounds since Monday.
Ejercito broke his silence after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) swore in Vice Governor Ramil Hernandez on Tuesday to replace him.
Ejercito said he was forcibly removed from office by his “desperate” detractors despite his legitimacy.
“Mayroon bang unseen hand na nagtutulak sa Comelec para gawin ito? Palagay ko. Napakabilis, nakakabigla. Grabe, ang bilis ng pagtanggal nila sa akin. [Is there an unforseen hand pushing the Comelec to do this? I think so. It’s too fast, too sudden.] Isa po itong pambabastos at isang pambababoy ng Comelec sa kataas-taasang hukuman,” Ejercito said.
Ejercito claimed that the plot against him may be led by Malacañang’s allies who violated his constitutional right to due process.
Pilit po akong pinapaalis ng Malacañang sa puwesto dahil hindi po ako kaanib ng administrasyon ng Liberal Party. Hindi na po nirerespeto ng Palasyo ang tinatawag nating rule of law [Malacañang is forcing me to leave my post because I am not a member of the administration’s Liberal Party],” he said.
The poll body, he said, cannot overstep the “mandate of the electorate.” Ejercito garnered more than 500,000 votes in the last gubernatorial election.
In an en banc decision on May 23, the Comelec found Ejercito guilty of election overspending in the 2013 election.
Ejercito, meanwhile, filed a petition before the Supreme Court to stop the Come- lec from implementing the dismissal order.
He said that according to the Omnibus Election Code, he should be given 30 days to step down from his seat while awaiting the final decision of the high tribunal.
“I will opt to await for the Supreme Court decision to settle once and for all. Or I will be charged of neglect of duty. It is not for the Comelec to elect who will serve the people,” he said.
Hundreds of Ejercito’s supporters started barricading the provincial capitol here.
After his oathtaking, Lagu- na Acting Governor Ramil Hernandez has yet to enter the provincial capitol grounds as buses and trucks are still blocking the gates.
He instead held temporary office at the Laguna Sports Complex on Wednesday as Ejercito still refused to leave the capitol.
May 27 was the last day given for Ejercito to secure a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court to stop the Comelec’s disqualification order against him.
But the High Court said there’ll be no TRO for now. Instead, it ordered the Comelec and original petitioner Egay San Luis to comment on Ejercito’s plea within 10 days.