SANTA CRUZ, Laguna (PNA) -– “Gusto kong ipabatid sa lahat na ako pa rin ang Gobernador ng Laguna. Walang mababago sa pamamahala at tuloy-tuloy po ang paghahatid natin ng tunay na serbisyong publiko, good governance.”
(I wish to declare to all and sundry that I am still the Governor of Laguna. Nothing will change in the administration and the delivery of genuine public service, good governance.)
Laguna Gov. Jeorge ER Ejercito Estregan said this Wednesday before thousands of community leaders, supporters and village folks who trooped to the Laguna Provincial Capitol cultural center here to rally support for their embattled Governor.
Estreganm who will turn “golden boy” on his natal day on Oct 5, declared “nakakalungkot po na ako na nagwagi ng mahigit 500,000 votes ay dini-disqualify po ng Comelec dahil daw sa overspending.”
The Laguna Governor beat the five-day appeal period when he filed the motion for reconsideration Tuesday on disqualification charges for election campaign overspending by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) first division.
Accompanied by his wife Pagsanjan Mayor Girlie Maita Ejercito, Governor Estregan elicited a thunderous applause from his supporters and constituents as they waved to the mammoth crowd.
The huge gathering was preceded with a unity mass at 2:50 p.m. capped with the Governor’s message and segued to a press conference.
Some supporters came from the neighboring towns and cities of the provincial capital of Santa Cruz and scores of people here vowed they will conduct the prayer vigil until justice and fair decision is due to their Governor.
The throng of supporters sported color-coded shirts representing the towns and cities while an overwhelming number wore the signature political color orange of the Ejercitos and the United Nationalist Alliance.
The cultural center was filled to the rafters as the cultural center grounds were also swarmed with supporters some bearing streamers and tarpaulins expressing support for the Laguna governor and denouncing the Comelec decision.
Despite disappointment for the flawed proceedings and no full-blown trial before the poll body’s first division, Governor ER expressed “Sana po sa krisis na ito, walang iwanan at walang balimbingan.” (I hope there would be no desertion and no turncoatism).
He admitted that he did not receive the official Comelec decision yet when news on his disqualification has spread like wildfire and learned of the case through his circle of media friends.
“Ako po ay isang biktima dito at para bang ramdan na ramdan ng aming buong pamilya ng Ejercito, ng mga Estrada at Estregan na tila ba iniisa-isa na kami at gustong pabagsakin ang buong angkan,” Governor Estregan commented.
The Laguna governor pointed to his political rival in the gubernatorial elections whom he called as “trapong-trapo” (contraction for traditional politician) and a desperate “Congressman Epal” who continuously maneuvered the case before the poll body.
Estregan however assured he would “pray for my enemy who does not stop and who could not accept that I beat him and am handsomer than him.”
The Governor vowed to continue his tradition of work, pro-poor leadership and governance and public service and hoped to overcome these trials.
“Ito po ang panglimang kampanya ko na. Kaya alam ko po ang limitasyon ng batas tungkol sa kampanya. Hindi ko po ito nilabag at hindi-hinding ko po ito lalabagin (This is my fith campaign experience. So I am aware of the law’s limitation on the campaign. I have not violated this and never will),” said Gov. Estregan.
He also said that the decision is flawed considering it has no jurisdiction over the case, there is no due process observed and the Comelec first division only served to collect the evidence, prosecutor and judge rolled into one like a “three-in-one coffee.”
“Dahil sa lumalalang pulitika dito sa ating bansa, hindi ko akalain na pati ako na maraming parangal na ang natanggap ay sasampahan at nagiging biktima sa walang kakuwenta-kwentang kaso,” Gov. ER said.
(With the country’s worsening politics, I never realize that with the various awards received I would also be charged and fall victim to a useless case).