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Duterte praises Tolentino, Ejercito – possible senatorial bets – at Legazpi event

Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito. Photo from the office of Sen. JV

LEGAZPI CITY — President Rodrigo Duterte praised his political adviser, Francis Tolentino, and Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito before a crowd estimated at 2,500 during the 24th National Federation of Motorcycle Clubs of the Philippines (NFMCP) Annual Convention in Legazpi City Saturday night.

The President was at the convention as speaker and as a member of On Any Sunday Riders Club, one of the founders of the federation in 1994.

Tolentino and Ejercito, who were both present at the event, are part of the possible senatorial slate of the PDP-Laban for the 2019 midterm elections.

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Francis Tolentino. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / MARLON RAMOS

The President said that Tolentino, a former chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA),  was able to perform his job well as Mayon Volcano crisis manager.

“I said: ‘Francis, I’ll leave you here, OK?’ That was when I flew to Naga,” the President said.“‘Try to implement what I promised to the Bicolanos.’ And he did and the result was good. I didn’t hear anything [complaint]. We didn’t fall short,” he said.

He also praised Tolentino as a gentle and honest person.

Tolentino was born in Guinobatan, Albay, one of the towns constantly covered by ash falls during the peak of Mayon’s hazardous activities that started on Jan. 13 this year. State volcanologists has maintained Alert Level 2 over Mayon Volcano to this day.

Duterte said that Ejercito, half-brother of Sen.Jinggoy Ejercito, told him that it is better if there are two Ejercitos in the Senate.

“I said: ‘There are two of you children of [Manila] Mayor [Joseph] Estrada there. You should compromise with each other.’ He said: ‘No. It would be better if there are two of us Estradas in the Senate,” Duterte said.

Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go, whose name also came up in the list of possible PDP-Laban bets, was also present in the event.

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TAGS: 2019 senatorial elections, Christopher Go, Francis Tolentino, JV Ejercito, Rodrigo Duterte
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