By Vince Alvic Alexis F. Nonato, Reporter

ER Ejercito’s son asks SC to order deletion of name from ballot

Posted on March 29, 2016

THE son of former Laguna governor Emilio Ramon “ER” P. Ejercito III has asked the Supreme Court to order the deletion of name from the ballot, where he remains listed as a gubernatorial candidate despite the withdrawal of his bid.

Jorge Antonio Genaro J. Ejercito said the Comelec’s “non-deletion” of his name would cause confusion among Laguna voters if it remains in the ballot alongside that of his father-who is also running to reclaim his position.

In a 16-page urgent petition for certiorari, the young Ejercito said the Commission on Elections did not act on his motion to cancel his certificate of candidacy, which he filed on Feb. 1 before the ballot-printing began.

He said the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion when it later denied his request for the deletion of his name while only citing “tight timelines” as the reason.

The Comelec reasoned that editing the ballot to reflect the young Ejercito’s withdrawal would impact its tight timelines. But the petition noted that the Comelec on Feb. 17 (the third day of printing) halted the ballot production after the party of presidential candidate and senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago was omitted.

“If the Comelec could accommodate Senator Santiago by inserting in the ballots her political party on February 17, then it is grave abuse of discretion and discriminatory on the part of the Comelec to say that tight timelines prevented it from deleting or excluding my name from the ballots when the withdrawal of my COC was made onFebruary 1 and the motion to delete my name filed on February 18,” the petition read.

Because of this, the young Ejercito asked the high court to order the Comelec to delete his name and print the ballots for Laguna last.

The elder Ejercito was reelected governor of Laguna in the May 2013 elections, winning 55% of the votes. He was disqualified after the Comelec granted the petition by his rival Edgar “Egay” S. San Luis for campaign overspending.

The Comelec recently ruled that the elder Ejercito can still run for the 2016 elections because he was only disqualified for the 2013 polls.

The elder Ejercito is running under the United Nationalist Alliance, going against Governor Ramil L. Hernandez of the Nacionalista Party, who replaced him upon his ouster.