ER Ejercito. File Photo.
MANILA (UPDATED) - The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday upheld the decision of the Commission on Elections to disqualify ER Ejercito as Laguna governor for overspending in the May 2013 elections.
Voting 12-0, the High Court rejected Ejercito's petition to overturn the Comelec decision on his disqualification.
Edgar San Luis of the Liberal Party first filed the petition for disqualification against Ejercito, saying the latter was allowed to spend only P4.5 million or P3 for each of the 1,525,522 voters in Laguna.
The Comelec noted that Ejercito paid P6 million for just one advertising contract, which exceeded the poll spending cap.
The Comelec said that based on records, Ejercito spent P23,563,365 for his entire campaign.
Ejercito initially vowed to defy the Comelec order but was persuaded by his uncle, former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, to vacate the provincial capitol.
Vice Governor Ramil Hernandez took over Ejercito's post.
In an interview on ANC on Tuesday, Estrada said he believes his nephew was singled out.
"I feel sad because of all the politicians, there are, I think, over 90 percent who overspent. Why was he singled out?" he said.
But he said Ejercito will have a chance to redeem himself if he runs in the 2016 elections.
"There's another next time, he can come back... There's only one year and eight months to go before the elections. If the people really want him back, then he can come back," Estrada said.