One year after the 2013 Elections, COMELEC en banc have finally issued their decision on the matter of the disqualification of Laguna Governor Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito on the merits of overspending.
Voting 7-0, the COMELEC en banc justifies the decision of COMELEC’s First Division last September 2013 disqualifying the elected Laguna Governor for spending way above the maximum allowed limit of campaign expenditure per candidate. Based on the Commission’s finding, Ejercito spent 6 million pesos alone on a TV advertisement contract, to which he was only allowed to spend 4.5 million pesos based on campaign fund per voter ratio.
In a press statement, COMELEC Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said their decision is purely based on the rule of law and there are no politics whatsoever that is why they’ve came up with a unanimous decision.
“Wala namang politics dito. These are all documented. Contracts entered into with the media, TV stations… lahat ito documented. That’s why you will notice in our decision ay walang dissenting kasi ang tagal namin ito dineliberate. Meaning kumbinsido talaga kami dito (that he overspent),” – COMELEC Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr.
COMELEC also finds Ejercito’s total campaign spending amounted to 23.5 million pesos which is way way beyond his campaign fund limit.
Meanwhile, Ejercito has still 5 days to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court before it became final and executory. And if that happens incumbent Vice Governor Ramil Hernandez will take the post of the governor.
It’s a good thing that COMELEC seriously went after these election violators. I will admit I am a staunch non-supporter of this governor and I’ve eagerly waited for this decision. I just hope that COMELEC will go after all those election violators regardless of their political color. Because that will be the greatest legacy that Brillantes and the whole COMELEC will leave, to seriously implement election laws whoever it may hit.