MANILA (UPDATED) - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc on Wednesday voted unanimously to disqualify Laguna Governor 'ER' Ejercito for overspending in the 2013 elections.
Voting 7-0, the Comelec en banc's decision affirmed the First Division's earlier ruling that Ejercito overspent in the last election.
Vice-Governor Ramil Hernandez will take over as the new Laguna governor, the poll body said.
Ejercito's lawyers, however, said the governor still has 5 days to file a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) before the Supreme Court to stop the implementation of the Comelec decision.
Edgar San Luis of the Liberal Party first filed the petition for disqualification against Ejercito, stating that Ejercito 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. Comelec said the governor spent P23,563,365 for his entire campaign.
In a statement, Ejercito said he is prepared to take the matter to the high court once they receive the documents.
He said he is confident that the SC will rule in his favor.
"I am confident that the SC will uphold the rule of law and the voice of 550 thousand voters of the Province of Laguna who voted for me. I am also confident that the SC will uphold the mandate of the people of Laguna that they have so overwhelmingly entrusted to me during the last 2010 and 2013 governatorial elections," Ejercito said.
"Thank you very much to all my supporters and all the Lagunenos who continue to believe in my Good GovERnance and Public Service program and the good cause for which I stand for, lalaban po tayo legally!!!" he added.