|Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons|
The Commission on Election (COMELEC) has disqualified Laguna Governor Emilio Ramon "ER" Ejercito after being found guilty of campaign overspending during the 2013 election.
The COMELEC en banc has voted, 7-0, to support the decision issued by its First Division in September 2013 disqualifying Ejercito.
"The en banc decision is unanimous, there are seven members of the commission, so the decision for Ejercito to vacate the position was unanimous, meaning each commissioner decided based on documents presented to the poll body," COMELEC Chairman Sixto Brillantes said (via InterAksyon).
COMELEC allows candidates to spend only Php 3.00 per constituent. With 1,525,522 voters in Laguna, Ejercito was allowed to spend only Php 4.5 million during the campaign.
The elect governor of Laguna spent Php 23, 563,365 for his entire campaign, the poll body said.
Vice-Governor Ramil Hernandez will take over as the new Laguna Governor, COMELEC added.
Meanwhile, Ejercito may still file for a temporary restraining order (TRO) within five days to stop the implementation of the COMELEC decision.
In a statement, Ejercito said he is prepared to take the issue to the high court and he is confident that the SC will rule his favor.
"I am confident that the SC will uphold the rule of law and the voice of 550 thousand voters of the Province of Laguna who voted for me. I am also confident that the SC will uphold the mandate of the people of Laguna that they have so overwhelmingly entrusted to me during the last 2010 and 2013 governatorial elections," Ejercito said."Thank you very much to all my supporters and all the Lagunenos who continue to believe in my Good GovERnance and Public Service program and the good cause for which I stand for, lalaban po tayo legally!!!" he added (via ABS-CBN).
Ejercito, former 3-term mayor of Pagsanjan, Laguna, a nephew of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, got a total of 549,310 votes in the 2013 elections.