More Philippine politicians face disqualification

Comelec building

MANILA, Philippines - More than a hundred politicians from across the political spectrum are facing disqualification cases for violation of the campaign finance rules, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Wednesday.

"The Comelec is not singling out a particular person, family or political party," said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez in a statement after the Supreme Court upheld the Comelec's decision to disqualify Emilio Ramon "ER" Ejercito as Laguna governor for overspending in the May 2013 elections.

Jimenez stressed that there would be no sacred cows when it comes to holding accountable those who violated campaign finance rules.

"In fact, the Comelec's campaign finance unit has been moving against more than a hundred candidates who overspent during the [previous] elections," he added.

Sought for comment on the high court ruling, Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes said: "We're just doing our job."

"The evidence in his case is clear," Brillantes said, stressing that he is confident that the poll agency issued the correct resolution last May.

Ejercito was disqualified by the Comelec en banc last May after he was found to have overspent during the 2013 polls when he shelled out P23.5 million for his campaign as against his P4.5-million campaign spending limit.

On Tuesday, the high court, voting 12-0, upheld the Comelec resolution when it junked Ejercito's motion for reconsideration that accused the poll body of violating his rights by haphazardly issuing a decision on his case filed by his rival, Edgar San Luis.

In October, the Comelec announced that several candidates in the previous elections, including Sen. JV Ejercito, face possible election charges for alleged overspending for their election campaigns.

"This is all part of our actions to send a message that we are strict in implementing our election laws, including campaign overspending. You can expect more to come after this," said Brillantes.

Brillantes said they wanted to resolve the cases against JV Ejercito and others before the 2016 polls.