Sandiganbayan convicts ER Ejercito for graft
MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has found former Laguna governor Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito guilty of graft stemming from an agreement he entered into with an insurance company as Pagsanjan mayor in 2008.
The anti-graft court’s Fourth Division on Friday sentenced Ejercito – who is also a former actor and a nephew of former president Joseph Estrada – to imprisonment of six to eight years after he gave undue preferences to First Rapids Care Ventures (FRCV).
Estrada and his co-accused Vice Mayor Crisostomo Villar, Councilors Arlyn Lazaro-Torres, Terryl Gamit Talabong, Kalahi Rabago, Erwin Sacluti, Gener Dimaranan, and Ronaldo Sablan tapped FRCV “to provide protection and financial assistance” for Pagsanjan tourists and qualified boatmen in case of death of disablement.
Villar was acquitted by the court for failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt, while the charge against Sablan was dismissed following his death. FRCV owner was also found guilty of graft.
With the decision, Ejercito — who is again seeking the gubernatorial post of Laguna — was also perpetually disqualified from holding public office by the anti-graft court.
Following conviction, Ejercito may seek post-conviction remedies and appeal the decision. The anti-graft court may also allow him to post bail as he pursues post-conviction remedies. /muf/ac
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