Governor Jeorge ER Ejercito Estregan of Laguna province disclosed on Friday that he will remain as governor while the motion for reconsideration on the complaint case is filed before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
In his text message to the media, Estregan hopes “there is no politics involved in the decision” which also drew mixed reactions from his scores of constituents here.
Many Laguneños expressed sadness and pointed to complicity over interpretations of the country’s “Fair Elections Act.”
A Comelec official disclosed that the decision however is not final and executory yet pending the five-day appeal period and the hearing of the case by the Comelec en banc.
Estregan, also known through his screen name and in showbiz circles as Jeorge Estregan Jr., won his re-election bid as Laguna Governor by a landslide in the May 13 mid-term elections over gubernatorial rival former Laguna 4th District Congressman Edgar San Luis.
Political sources here disclosed that former Rep. Edgar San Luis was the alleged complainant for the political campaign overspending case filed before the poll body.
Governor ER however said the Comelec also has to explain why its first division’s decision may be flawed and he has five days to submit his motion for reconsideration to the poll body.
According to the Comelec first division’s decision, Governor ER committed election law violation for overspending indicating that his TV ad campaign alone breached the P 4.5 million-peso limit and soared to more than P 6 million pesos.
The Laguna Governor vowed he would still perform the mandate given him by the great majority of Laguneños and work for the interest, welfare and services for his constituents.
“The truth will come out and the case is not final yet,” Estregan remarked as his legal team would explain to the Comelec the flawed proceedings and why he should not be unseated.
Estregan also expressed hope the Comelec would hear the appeal and dismiss the disqualification case.
In a media interview aired on DZJV radio station here on Thursday, Comelec spokesperson Atty. James Jimenez said “sa position na tinakbo niya, mayroon tayong 1.5 million voters sa Laguna. Ang spending cap sa 1.5 million voters ay lumalabas na P4.5 million pesos only.”
(For the post of governor with about 1.5 million voters in Laguna, he would have spent only an estimated P4.5 million pesos).
Jimenez disclosed that the Comelec decision was also based on the records of campaign spending noting the Governor’s political camp spent for their TV ad campaign alone some P6 million pesos which excludes print, radio and other campaign expenses.
He also revealed another politician from Western Visayas is also facing similar infraction of the election law for overspending in the poll campaign as the Comelec conducts preliminary investigations.
The election spending declaration is in compliance with Republic Act 7166 and Comelec Resolution No. 9476 which both winning and losing candidates should file with the Comelec not later than on June 13 this year.
The election law penalizes any violator the disqualification to hold office and fine after a fair hearing of the case filed before the Comelec. PNA