[box type=”default” size=”large”] Laguna governor unseated for poll overspending [/box]
MANILA — Embattled Laguna Gov. Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito asked last week the Supreme Court (SC) to stop the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from implementing its decision that disqualified and unseated him from his post for overspending in the 2013 midterm elections.
In his petition, Ejercito told the High Court that the decision of the Comelec en banc should be nullified for having been issued in grave abuse of discretion.
Pending the resolution of his petition on its merits, Ejercito asked the SC to issue “a status quo ante order (SQAO) or a temporary restraining order (TRO)/writ of preliminary injunction enjoining the Comelec en banc or any other person or officer acting for and on their behalf to cease and desist from implementing its resolution dated 21 May 2014 and the resolution dated 26 September 2013 of its First Division.”
If a TRO or SQAO is not issued by the SC within five days from Ejercito’s receipt of the copy of the Comelec decision, there would be no legal impediment for the poll body to implement its ruling and install Vice Gov. Ramil Hernandez as Laguna governor.
The SC is on its decision-writing month this May and will resume its division and full court sessions next month.
However, the SC acts on urgent and important cases even while on recess or even during its decision-writing month.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said the poll body is willing to give Ejercito until Tuesday (May 27) to get a TRO from the SC.
“We are not unreasonable. By Wednesday or Thursday, (if there is no TRO), we will already have the decision sent to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for implementation,” he said.
In unseating Ejercito, Brillantes said the governor spent P6 million for just one contract with a television station for his campaign advertisements.
Under the rules, Ejercito as a gubernatorial candidate was only authorized to spend P3 per voter or a total of a little over P4.5 million for the entire campaign period. Laguna has 1.52 million registered voters.(Manila Bulletin)