By Hannah Torregoza
Outgoing Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito on Friday said he is open to joining President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet should he be asked to do so in the future.
“If I can use my knowledge and I can contribute, then why not? Of course, I want the President to succeed because after all, his success will be our success,” Ejercito said.
Ejercito failed in his reelection bid in the recently concluded May 2019 midterm elections.
Both President Duterte and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio endorsed his bid. Ejercito joined Duterte-Carpio’s Hugpong ng Pagbababago (HNP) regional party during the campaign, even though the HNP also endorsed his brother, former senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada.
Ejercito said he is optimistic he can still serve the public in another capacity. But for now, he would focus on spending more time with his family.
“In any case, if the President thinks that I’d be able to contribute (to his administration), why not? I’d be willing to help in other ways that I can even if I am (already) out of office,” he said.
“I would still support his infrastructure program…we’ve been really pushing for it, as well as his peace and order, anti-terrorism policies. If the President thinks I can be of help, why not?” the lawmaker said.
Ejercito, likewise, confirmed he would be joining President Duterte’s team in the Future of Asia International conference to be held in Tokyo, Japan by the end of May.
“That would be my last official trip as a senator. Every time the President goes to Japan, it’s always about infrastructure and transport and they always want me to tag along with the President each time they go to Japan,” Ejercito said.
He said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade knows how much he supports the President’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program as well as his advocacy for transport modernization that is why they always ask him to go along with the Chief Executive whenever he visits Japan.
“I also want to make sure that all of these things that we have been dreaming of, especially infrastructure projects and transport modernization would push through,” the senator said.