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ON PORK SCAM

JV Ejercito: I’m torn between family and public service

/ 01:15 PM February 12, 2014

Sen. JV Ejercito. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines —Expressing his thoughts on accused-turned-whistleblower Ruby Tuason scheduled testimony on Thursday, Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said he was concerned with his family but at the same time beholden to the public.

“I’m concerned also with my family. I am sad at what my brother is going through. We might not get along but he’s still my brother,” Ejercito said Wednesday over Inquirer Radio 990AM.

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But the Senator said he is weighing this against his own accountability with the Filipino people who elected him into office.

Ejercito declined to give his judgement on Tuason’s testimony though he was earlier quoted saying that he felt that Tuason, his father former President Joseph Estrada’s social secretary, had betrayed their family.

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Ejercito instead said that while Tuason was a family friend, they were not close, alluding to the fact that they didn’t run in the same circle since she was a socialite.

Nevertheless, he is still deciding if it would be proper to question her during Thursday’s Senate hearing since he might be accused of influencing or pressuring Tuason.

The Senator said he is just as curious as the public as to what Tuason would reveal in her testimony.

As a lawmaker, Ejercito said he was more interested on how to address the issue through legislation, so it would not happen again.

“In aid of legislation. The problem is that some of our colleagues use public hearings in aid of election. They are using popular issues to make them famous,” he said.

Ejercito said he would like to focus on the process, on how the scam was perpetrated and how it could be prevented from happening again.

But what Ejercito was most bothered about was the supposed singling out of opposition lawmakers. He said it was “too much of a coincidence.”

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“Justice should be color blind. If there are people involved who are close to the President, a partymate of the President…we should know,” he said.

Among those accused in the pork barrel scam are Senators Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile who are both members of the Senate minority bloc.

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TAGS: Graft and Corruption, Jinggoy Estrada, Jose Victor Ejercito, Joseph Estrada, PDAF, Pork barrel, Ruby Tuason
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