MANILA, Philippines – “More than the responsibility to my colleagues, I am accountable to the people who elected me.”
This is how Senator JV Ejercito explained his decision to sign the Senate blue ribbon committee report recommending plunder charges against his half-brother, Senator Jinggoy Estrada, and allies in the opposition Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.
Ejercito is among 10 senators who signed the report on the pork barrel scam as of Wednesday, May 7. The number is just one signature shy from the majority of 11 members of the 20-member blue ribbon committee.
The minority senator said that he signed the report with the reservation that it is incomplete. He said the investigation should include all non-governmental organizations, not just those linked to alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
Repeatedly asked by reporters if he was endorsing the committee finding recommending plunder charges against his brother, Ejercito said, “Not necessarily.”
Yet when asked why he signed it even if his brother was implicated, Ejercito responded, “Bagama’t may kapamilya ako, kapartido, mga kasamahan, siyempre ako’y halal din ng taumbayan.” (Even if I have relatives, partymates, colleagues, of course I am elected by the people.)
He later told Rappler, “It’s the right thing to do.”
Told that Estrada got mad at him, Ejercito quipped, “Sanay na naman ako. Lagi namang galit sa akin iyon!” (I am used to it. He is always mad at me anyway!)