JV on possible Cabinet post: 'Why not?'

Aleta Nishimori, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 24 2019 11:19 AM | Updated as of May 24 2019 12:11 PM

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After a heartbreaking loss in the midterm elections, Sen. JV Ejercito is not closing his doors on the possibility of serving the country by being appointed to a Cabinet post.

"Anybody who fails to make a reelection, that would be considered a heartbreak. I love this job and I feel I have been effective in the last six years and I would have wanted to continue on what I have been doing," said Ejercito.

However, Ejercito said he will not turn down a Cabinet post "if the president would ask me." 

"If I will be effective, if I know I'll be able to help in that position, if I can share my expertise, why not?" said Ejercito in an interview on ANC's Headstart Friday.

Ejercito lost the last spot in the Magic 12 to Sen. Nancy Binay with just around 200,000 votes. Binay had 14,504,936 votes while Ejercito garnered 14,313,727.

"Take note I was not endorsed by the Iglesia, first time, but they had their reasons. I had a brother that is running...given those numbers, giving that showing, I'm still quite happy I was able to perform against all the odds. I came up very close," he said.

His brother, Jinggoy Estrada, also did not make it to the Magic 12 after only getting 11,359,305 votes.

Ejercito said he was not in favor of them running simultaneously in the Senate race.
"In fact, I left the party because I was not in agreement for both us running at the same time because I knew this was gonna happen," he said.

"We were fighting too many battles and probably this is the main reason why the so-called Estrada dynasty collapsed. We were just fighting too many battles, too many enemies, we spread our machinery and focus," he said.

Their father, Joseph Estrada lost his reelection bid in Manila while Jinggoy's daughter lost her mayoral bid in San Juan City.

"I was not sure in my reelection bid because he was also running. Of course, my mother and I [were] very concerned. Instead of us being able to focus and help Janella, my mother and I were concerned about my candidacy."

"Had he not run, I would have secured my reelection bid and we would have more time to help in San Juan," he said, debunking claims that they did not support his niece's bid.

In his six years as senator, Ejercito said he passed several measures and two landmark laws, including the Universal Healthcare law.

"I would have wanted to just finish my second term and probably retire from politics. I would say poor family decision that took away this job away from me," he said.

His only regret is not talking to his father earlier to tell him what the implications would be of fighting too many battles. "So this happened."

Nevertheless, Ejercito is thankful to the outpouring of support he received during and after the elections that somehow "eased the heartbreak" and softened the blow.

"I may not have won in the counting, but I probably won the hearts of the Filipino people...that really made it easier for me cope up with the situation," he said.

With the next election just three years away, Ejercito said that he would love to run in 2022.

"I love this job but the only problem is running two consecutive elections within 3 years might be too heavy, financially," he said.

For now, Ejercito said he would probably take a break after being in public service for 18 years straight--9 years as mayor, 3 as congressman, and 6 years as senator.

"I think I have to go back to the things I wasn't able to do when I was in public service," he said.

Ejercito will be traveling with the president to Japan next week. 

"That will be my last official trip," he said.