Former Laguna Gov. Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito III on Tuesday slammed former President Benigno Aquino III for his conviction by the Sandiganbayan over the province’s alleged questionable accident protection assistance program.
At a news conference in Quezon City, Ejercito blamed Aquino for the filing of graft raps against him, his dismissal from service in 2014 and his recent conviction, and the arrest and detention of his first-degree cousin, then-Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada for graft and plunder complaint over his supposed involvement in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
He said the late President Corazon Aquino declared all political positions vacant in San Juan City when she assumed office in 1986, during which Estrada was the mayor, adding she even helped him out as president at the height of the so-called EDSA 2 revolt in 2001.
“I can forgive, but I may not forget [what they did to us],” he said.
He said that the Sandiganbayan was “unfair,” and that the decision was “politically motivated.”
“Some of the justices at the Fourth Division were Aquino’s appointees,” he said.
He, however, clarified that he remains a candidate in the midterm elections as Laguna governor despite the conviction.
Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon, a lawyer seeking a senatorial seat, said he is helping Ejercito to challenge the Sandiganbayan’s decision before the Supreme Court.
“The anti-graft court’s order is not yet final and executory. Only the high court could say so. It is not true that he has been disqualified to join the elections,” Gadon said.
Ejercito is running under the Hugpong ng Pagbabago.
Earlier, the Commission on Elections ruled that only a final ruling by the Supreme Court could disqualify a candidate to run for public office.
On April 5, the anti-graft court convicted Ejercito of graft over an illegal insurance contract when he was then the Pagsanjan town mayor in 2008.
The case stemmed over the alleged awarding of contract to insurance company First Rapids Care Ventures to cover tourists and boatmen in the Pagsanjan tourist zone.