MANILA, Philippines – Ousted Laguna Governor ER Ejercito on Tuesday refused to step down from his post, in defiance of a Commission on Elections (Comelec) ruling to remove him from the seat.
“Ako ay mananatiling lehitimong gobernador ng Laguna ngayon at magpakailanman, (I will remain the legitimate governor of Laguna now and forever,” Ejercito told his supporters in a speech he gave at the provincial capitol.
Ejercito was found guilty of campaign overspending during the 2013 midterm elections, and as such, was ordered by the Comelec to vacate his post. Instead, however, he lashed out at the poll body and at Malacañang.
“Binaboy at binastos ng Comelec at Malacañang ang 550,000 votes (The Comelec is disprespecting and making a mockery of 550,000 votes,)” he said. “I want to make it clear to Malacanang and to Comelec, I will not abandon the mandate of the people of Laguna!”
Ejercito pointed to the Palace as the culprit behind his ouster.
“Pilit po akong inaalis ng Malakanyang sa pwesto dahil hindi ako bahagi ng LP [Liberal Party] (Malacañang is forcibly removing me from my post, because I am not amenber of the LP,)” Ejercito said. “Hindi na inirerespeto ng Malakanyang ang rule of law (Malacañang is no longer giving due respect to rule of law.)”
He insists on remaining governor of the province, despite Vice-Governor Ramil Hernandez being sworn in on Tuesday as Laguna provincial government head..
Ejercito, citing that he legally has a one-month period to have the ruling overturned by the Supreme Court, said that the Comelec’s order was not yet final and executory.
He added that the poll body should wait for the Supreme Court’s final ruling on the matter.