Confusion splits votes in Laguna gubernatorial race

Abigail Abigan

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Confusion splits votes in Laguna gubernatorial race
The inclusion of two Ejercitos in the ballot may have split votes meant for former governor EJ Ejercito

LAGUNA, Philippines – Voters for Laguna gubernatorial candidate Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito may have inadvertently voted for his son, Jorge Antonio Ejercito, whose name was also included in the ballot for the same post.

As of this posting, in partial and unofficial results, ER Ejercito is in second place next to incumbent governor Ramil Hernandez with more than 95% of votes transmitted. The younger Ejercito withdrew from the race prior to the opening of the polls. 

The elder Ejercito, the former governor of Laguna, and his son filed their candidacy for Laguna governor – he under the United Nationalist Alliance and his son as an independent.

The Ejercito camp filed a petition before the Supreme Court to order Comelec to remove the name of Jorge Antonio Ejercito in the ballots for Laguna, and to acknowledge his withdrawal of candidacy. But due to “tight timelines” in the printing of ballots, Jorge Ejercito’s name was still included.


On election day, the family of Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito arrived at around 9:15 am at Francisco Benitez Elementary School in Pagsanjan, Laguna.

The younger Ejercito earlier told Rappler he was hopeful that the inclusion of his name in the ballot would not confuse voters.  Hopefully hindi maguluhan ang mga botante natin kahit hindi na-push na matanggal ang pangalan ko sa balota,” Jorge Antonio Ejercito said. 

Magkaiba naman ang pangalan namin ng Dad ko,” he added. (My name is different from my Dad’s name.)

The former governor said that they did their best to let the voters know that the younger Ejercito was no longer in the running.

According to voters, they didn’t notice the names of the two Ejercitos. Most of them shaded Jorge Antonio’s name.

In 2013, Ejercito was disqualified as governor for overspending above the P4.5 million limit set by Comelec. –

Abigail Abigan is a Rappler Mover.

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Abigail Abigan

Abigail Abigan is community and civic engagement specialist under MovePH, Rappler’s civic engagement arm.