In what could be a dejavu of the 2019 National Elections, Former Senator JV Ejercito on Friday announced he would seek a Senate comeback in 2022 amid the looming possibility of going up against his half-brother Jinggoy Estrada for the second time.
“Our voters deserve better choices. Our country deserves the good ones who will help achieve prosperity for all, not leaders who think only about lining their pockets with public money,” Ejercito told reporters in a virtual press briefing.
“I believe our people deserve the Good One in the Senate,” he added.
Both siblings ran for senator under Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) during the last polls but lost.
Ejercito landed at 13th place at the last polls — 150,000 votes away from the “Magic 12” — while Estrada ranked 15th with over 11 million votes.
Their defeat prompted Ejercito to leave HNP for National Peoples’ Coalition while Estrada joined Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino where he is currently serving as party president.
Ejercito, in seeking another bid, said he wants to return to the Senate to pick up from where he “left before” and bolster the country’s infrastructure development and healthcare system through the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law.
He shepherded for the implementation of UHC during his stint in the Senate which automatically enrolls all Filipino citizens in the National Health Insurance Program and calls for complementary reforms in the health system.
“Now more than ever, the UHC which is still a work in progress, has to be prioritized and implemented properly. I will work doubly hard in order to achieve this vision,” he said.
“I also was to pursue my advocacy for infrastructure development… We need to put up modern public transportation… to stimulate economic growth all over the country,” he said.
“These are the reasons why I have decided to face our countrymen and run for senator in the 2022 election,” he added.
While he does not have the same funding as other candidates, Ejercito expressed optimism that his “good name” and track record is enough for the voters to choose him.
“Having to run in two consecutive national elections is just too much, especially for the funding purposes,” he said.
“The only thing that I am really, really proud of and that I can offer is my good name. I may not be as moneyed or as well-funded as other candidates but I guess my performance in the Senate… my track record as congressman and as mayor of San Juan, my public service record is very clean,” he added.
Having served as a senator for one term, Ejercito worked in the upper chamber from 2013 to 2019. He has authored 140 bills and resolutions during his stint including landmark laws such as Universal Healthcare Law and the establishment of the Department of National Housing.