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    Posted May 23, 2014 by

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    Filipino governor goes to court for help

    LAGUNA Gov. Emilio Ramon Ejercito on Friday asked the Supreme Court (SC) to stop the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Manila from implementing its May 21, 2014 ruling ordering him to vacate his post as head of the province.
    The poll body found Ejercity guilty of election overspending during the May 13, 2013 polls.
    In a 22-page petition for certiorari, Ejercito also asked the high court to nullify the poll body’s resolution.
    Ejercito argued that the poll body committed grave abuse of discretion after it disqualified him when the petition filed against him was only for a request to initiate a criminal proceeding for violation of election laws.
    However, Ejercito said that the poll body assumed that the case was for his disqualification contrary to Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC).
    Section 68 of the OEC requires that "a party is declared by final decision of a competent court guilty of or found by the Commission of… spent in his election campaign an amount in excess of that allowed by this Code… shall be disqualified from continuing as a candidate or if he has been elected, from holding the office."
    Instead of filing a criminal complaint against him or ordering a conduct of an inquiry on allegations of overspending, Ejercito said that he was already disqualified from office.
    "Indeed, a judgment meting out the penalty of disqualification before the conduct of a preliminary investigation into the factual allegations thereof is premature and constitutes a clear violation of petitioner's right to due process," the petition said.
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