Palace denies hand in Ejercito's ouster
MANILA - Malacanang denied accusations made by ousted Laguna Governor Emilio Ramon "ER" Ejercito that the Palace is behind the moves to remove him from office.
"If you read the decision of the [Commission on Elections], at in-explain na rin ng Comelec 'yung kanilang decision, it's very, very clear for the basis for disqualifying Governor ER Ejercito. I think the decision speaks for itself. The acts that were outlined by the Comelec decisions clearly showed the basis for that disqualification," said Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda.
The Comelec en banc earlier voted unanimously to disqualify Ejercito for overspending during the May 2013 elections. Comelec records showed Ejercito spent P23.5 million during the campaign, way beyond his authorized campaign limit of P4.5 million or P3 each for 1,525,522 voters.
Lacierda said the Palace did not have a role in whatever happened to Ejercito. He said the Palace is unaware of the petitions filed before the Comelec.
"Si Ramil Hernandez, I'm not sure of his political affiliation. Pero 'yung kandidato po ng LP hindi ho ang nag-assume ng pagka-acting governor. 'Di ba, 'yung vice governor ang nag-assume, so wala kaming kinalaman po dito sa nangyari kay Governor ER Ejercito" said Lacierda.
Hernandez, the new Governor of Laguna, was Ejercito's running mate in the 2013 elections. He is a member of the Nacionalista Party.
Lacierda said Ejercito's case should serve as a warning to other government officials to be cautious on their campaign expenses.
"Dapat siguro sundin ng bawat elected official because nasa batas naman po 'yan na pwedeng maging basehan para ma-disqualify ang isang tumatakbong kandidato," he said.