By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said he remained firm in his belief that political dynasties should be prohibited to allow all Filipinos to have equal opportunities in public service.
Ejercito maintained his stand during the GMA-7’s Senatorial Face-off Debate 2019, saying he haf no qualms supporting anti-political dynasty measures despite coming from a prominent political clan.
“May pananagutan ako sa pamilya, pero ako po ay may pananagutan sa taumbayan (I have obligations to my family, but I also have my responsibility to the people),” Ejercito said during the debate.
Ejercito is running for re-election in the upcoming May 2019 midterm polls together with his half-brother, former senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada.
Their father, former president and now Manila City Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada, has endorsed Estrada’s senatorial bid. Ejercito has left his father’s political party Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and transferred to the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) due to the “awkward” situation between him and Estrada.
Ejercito, Estrada’s son with San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez, had long since advocated for the passage of an anti-political dynasty measure.
“In fact sa Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Reform Law, which I am one of the principal authors, this is the first time that the anti-political dynasty provision will be applied into the law. Ako po ang nag-introduced niyan (I introduced that),” Ejercito said.
“Ito pong sa present situation ngayon. Kaya nga po ako ay umalis sa partido namin sa dahilang hindi po ako sang-ayon na dalawa po kaming magkapatid na tumakbo bilang senador. Dalawangput apat lang po ang senador (This is our present situation now. That is why I left my father’s political party because I can’t accept that both of us siblings would run for senator. There are only 24 seats for senators),” he said.
“Kinakailangan po kami’y tumakbo upang maging kinatawan ng taumbayan at hindi po ng pamilya. Yan po ang dahilan kung bakit hindi nagkakaintindihan sa ngayon (I believe we need to run to represent the people and not our families. That is the reason why we have misunderstandings in the family now),” he stressed.
Ejercito said he believed spouses and relatives up to the second civil degree of incumbent elective officials should be prohibited from running.