ER Ejercito’s son seeks printing of new ballots for Laguna
THE son of ousted Laguna Governor Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito on Monday asked the Supreme Court to compel the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to print new ballots for his province.
In his urgent manifestation and motion, Jorge Antonio Genaro Ejercito, through his lawyers Romulo Macalintal and Antonio Carlos Bautista, told the high court that his name is still on the ballots despite withdrawing from the gubernatorial race.
“Since the Comelec could print ballots at a speed of 1.5 million ballots a day, then it would only take the Comelec not more than one and a half days to print the 1.6 million new ballots for the province of Laguna without (petitioner’s) name therein and to totally disregard the ballots already printed,” read the two-page manifestation.
He maintained that the Comelec has gravely abused its discretion when it dismissed his bid to remove his name from the ballots after withdrawing from the race last February.
“As we stated in our petition, when an error was discovered last February 17, 2016 that the political party of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, a presidential candidate, was not included in the ballot, the said correction was made immediately on the same date. If insertion of a name could be added to the ballots then there is no reason why a “deletion” of name could not be similarly undertaken, especially when such deletion would affect only one province,” he said
He added that Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista did not agree with the decision of the majority opinion that removing his name from the ballots would be remote, citing “tight timelines.”
“Chair Bautista already believed that there would be no problem or ‘tight timelines’ to make such deletion because as it appears, Chair Bautista was confident that all the ballots would be printed on time and that Comelec had all the time to make such corrections or deletions,” the motion added.
Earlier this month, the high court dismissed the bid of the younger Ejercito to stop the printing of ballots in Laguna.
The younger Ejercito said the “non-deletion” of his name from the ballots would cause confusion among the voters of Laguna, which may lead to their disenfranchisement because of similarity of surnames, since his father, is also running for governor under the surname “Ejercito” and some voters might still vote for him thinking he is still a candidate.
The elder Ejercito is running to reclaim his old post from current Laguna governor Ramil Hernandez of the Nacionalista Party who is in an alliance with the administration’s Liberal Party.
Ejercito is running under the United Nationalist Alliance.
Hernandez assumed the governorship in 2014 after the Comelec disqualifies the elder Ejercito for campaign overspending in the 2013 elections. His disqualification was later upheld by the SC.
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