The Supreme Court did not heed the plea of the son of ousted Laguna Gov. Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito for immediate relief to compel the Commission on Elections to delete his name in the official ballots for theMay 9 elections.
In its en banc summer session in Baguio City, the SC denied Jorge Antonio Ejercito’s prayer for issuance of a temporary restraining order stopping the Commission on Elections from printing ballots for Laguna.
Instead, the tribunal directed the Comelec to answer the petition within a non-extendible period of 10 days, according to court spokesman Theodore Te.
After the filing of the comment, the SC will then decide on the merits of the case.
Without a TRO, the Comelec may proceed with the printing of the ballots for the province of Laguna.
In his petition filed last week, Ejercito asked the high court to immediately order the Comelec to remove his name from the ballots for the province following his withdrawal from the gubernatorial race last February. Petitioner told the SC that he already filed his motion to withdraw last Feb. 1 but the poll body has since not acted on it.
Through lawyer Romulo Macalintal, Jorge questioned the decision of the Comelec not to remove his name from the ballots “would cause confusion among the voters of Laguna which may lead to their disenfranchisement” because his father is also running for the same position.
Since ER is again running for governor, Jorge said there would be two Ejercitos in the ballots running for governor and voters might still consider voting for him despite his withdrawal from the gubernatorial race.
Petitioner questioned before the high tribunal why the Comelec denied his motion for deletion of his name in the ballots despite his withdrawal of candidacy. The poll body cited “tight timelines” as ground for rejecting the plea.
He alleged that such ground “is false and misleading because the Comelec halted the printing of ballots on Feb. 17 because the name of the political party of Senator Miriam Santiago, a presidential candidate, was not included in the ballot.”