Ejercito seeks SC redress

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 23 2014 11:29 AM | Updated as of May 23 2014 10:09 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - Laguna Governor Emilio Ramon "ER" Ejercito has sought redress from the Supreme Court (SC) in an effort to overturn a Commission on Elections (Comelec) ruling that ordered his ouster.

In a 24-page petition filed on Friday, Ejercito urged the high court to nullify Comelec En Banc resolution dated May 21, 2014 which affirmed a ruling by its First Division in favor of complainant Edgar San Luis.

The assailed resolution disqualified Ejercito from holding office as the Governor of the province; ordered him to cease and desist from performing the functions of the office, declared vacant the Governor post; and directed the duly elected Vice Governor to assume the province's topmost post by virtue of successes.

In his petition, Ejercito accused the Comelec of grave abuse of discretion for violating his right to due process.

He claimed what San Luis filed was a complaint for the prosecution of election offenses, not a disqualification case.

Ejercito said a disqualification case is a different proceeding for which he is entitled to due process.

"The commission erroneously sanctioned a change in private respondent's (San Luis) cause of action against petitioner (Ejercito) by the mere expedient of changing the prayer in his (San Luis') memorandum," the petition read.

Ejercito also pointed out that the poll body ruled on a mere documentary exhibit -- an advertising contract between ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. and Scenema Concept Intl. Inc, which was not formally offered as evidence in the proceedings on San Luis' complaint.

Finally, Ejercito stressed that he should not have been made liable for an "act done by a third party," where he did not give his consent to and did not participate in.

"For the information and guidance of this honorable court, the contract cited in the assailed resolution was executed by an identified supporter of the petitioner, without his (Ejercito's) knowledge and consent."

"In fact, petitioner's signature thereon was obviously forged," the petition read.

Ejercito sought the immediate issuance of a status quo ante order, temporary restraining order, and/or writ of preliminary injunction so as to stay the implementation of the Comelec resolution.

The high court is on month-long decision-writing break, and will resume sessions on June 3.

However, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno may act on Ejercito's injunctive and restraining pleas, if she so decides.

In its resolution, the poll body ruled that Ejercito should be ousted from office for going beyond the campaign spending limit of P4.5 million; Ejercito spent P23.56 million during the May 2013 gubernatorial race.