Gov gets poll body reprieve

BAGUIO CITY, Benguet—Members of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) have studied a petition to disqualify Laguna Governor E.R. Ejercito for alleged over-spending when he campaigned for office in the last elections, but they have not reached a decision on the case, the head of the commission said on Wednesday.

Chairman Sixto Brillantes said a draft decision was circulated among members for their review and refinement, but it will take some time before they can vote and rule on the case.

“Gov. Ejercito can still enjoy and relax because we have not yet officially decided his disqualification case,” Brillantes said.

Ejercito was running for another term as governor in the May 2013 elections and won a fresh mandate from the electorate. But his opponent, Edgar San Luis, sought his disqualification for alleged overspending.

A COMELEC division ordered his disqualification, but he appealed the case to the commission en banc. If Ejercito was disqualified, the COMELEC will have to decide whether the vice governor or his rival will take his place.

Brillantes said a decision on Ejercito’s case will take some time because the commission was loaded with cases, including the May 2016 synchronized national elections.

“The disqualification case will still go a long way because of the available legal remedies that Gov. Ejercito could avail once we will hand down our decision in the future,” Brillantes said.

“The Commission will try its best to rid its dockets with the numerous election-related cases so that we will have a clean slate during the May 2016 synchronized elections,” he said.

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