ER Ejercito son seeks SC help to remove name from ballot

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 25 2016 03:17 PM

MANILA - The son of former Laguna Governor Emilio Ramon "ER" Ejercito asked the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday to order the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to reprint the ballots for the province and delete his name from the list of gubernatorial bets.

Jorge Antonio Ejercito accused the poll body of grave abuse of discretion in denying his plea seeking the removal of his name from some 1.6 million ballots for Laguna "so as not to create confusion among the voters" due to the similarity between his name and that of his father who is running for the post.

His plea also aims to avoid possible disenfranchisement of voters over the Ejercitos' names.

The younger Ejercito withdrew from the gubernatorial race last February 1 to give way to his father.

In his petition, the younger Ejercito claimed that the Comelec denied his plea, dated February 18, 2016, "due to tight timelines".

He, however, noted that Comelec chairman Andres Bautista, in a media interview, said that printing of the total 56.77-million ballots for the May 9 polls was completed at "record speed" and "ahead of schedule."

"Petitioner is constrained to file this manifestation because it is his humble submittal that the Comelec was not candid enough to admit that it had all the time to delete his name from the ballots and that it is not true that the Comelec had 'tight timelines' to undertake such procedure of deleting his name," Ejercito's petition read.

"Clearly, the Comelec committed very grave abuse of discretion when it denied without any legal or factual basis petitioner's request that his name be deleted from the ballots as a candidate for Governor of the Province of Laguna so as not to create confusion among the voters."

Jorge Antonio is giving way to the candidacy of his father, who won the gubernatorial race in 2013 but was ousted for campaign overspending.

READ: Di na ako gagastos: ER Ejercito eyes another run as Laguna gov