By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito on Monday said he has no plans of filing any electoral protest or ask for a recount of the votes he got in the May 13 midterm polls, saying he believes in his heart that he really won in the senatorial elections.
But Ejercito said he would ask the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to explain the seven-hour delay of the transparency server last Monday.
“No, I’m not contesting, not at all. It’s not in my personality to be an obstructionist. I would rather accept what would be good for everyone, even if I have to sacrifice my own career,” Ejercito told reporters in an interview before the start of the Senate’s session at 3 p.m.
“They (Comelec) just have to explain that 7-hour glitch. A lot of people have expressed doubts on the credibility of the elections because of that. So that in the future, nobody would be deprived of their votes because every vote of the Filipino is sacred,” Ejercito said.
“A lot of people are worried, thinking I am sad, that I am depressed. Hindi po. I am very confident. I ended up on a very high note. And I’m on high moral ground as well. Because, my integrity is intact if ever I have to walk away from these (Senate) halls…,” the senator added.
“Sa totoo lang, I feel I won, deep inside. Dahil dun sa momentum ko, medyo strong yung finish ko sa huli (Deep inside, I feel I won because of my momentum). Toward the end of the campaign, I have a very strong finish. The trajectory was very high. I feel I won. Kaya lang hindi ko ugali yung para makapang-gulo, sa akin lang, sana maipaliwanag din ng Comelec later on yung 7-hour glitch (Being an obstructionist is not in my character. I just want the Comelec to explain the glitch).”
Senator Nancy Binay is hanging on the 12th spot with 14, 409, 333 votes or only 226,272 lead against Ejercito who is on the 13th spot with 14,183,061 votes, based on the partial and unofficial tally of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).
He said both he and Binay have already talked about the issue and even joked about their situation.
“Sabi niya kanina, (ano ba yan) tayo pa nagkakalaban dito. Sabi ko oo nga eh. Kasi nasingitan tayo hindi natin nabantayan. ‘Yun lang joke naming (She even kidded, we’re battling for the last spot. I responded, we weren’t vigilant so some sneak in),” Ejercito said.
Ejercito said he and Binay have long been friends in politics having been together in the political scene since 2013. Both senators are also part of the so-called “Senate seatmates” group.
“Kasi kung hindi ko kasama si Sen. Nancy, napakadali lang, I’ll be more assertive and vocal. Kaya nga tahimik na lang ako eh (I just keep silent. If not for Sen. Nancy, it would have been easier to be assertive and vocal),” he said.
“So let it be na lang, kung anong mangyayari sa fate natin. Si Sen Nancy kasama ko nung 2013, marami kaming pinagsamahan, kaya nga hinayaan ko na lang eh (I won’t contest it anymore as Sen. Nancy and I have been together since 2013 and we have gone through a lot of things. So I’ll just accept whatever my fate is),” he pointed out.
Ejercito added: “Pero I’m not bitter, pero sana lang ipaliwanag nila. Kaya di ako bitter din, kasi alam ko sinuportahan ako ng taumbayan, eh against all odds. Kaya ako nagpapasalamat sa lahat (I’m not bitter but I hope that everything will be explained. I feel no bitterness, aware that I was supported by the public even against all odds. That’s why I’m thankful to everyone).”
Asked if he is conceding, Ejercito said he is not: “No, I’m not conceding, because I owe it to the people, supporters and campaigners who went all out to support me.”
“Gusto nila malaman hanggang dulo. So may lima (5) pang COCs, di ba? Hintayin na lang natin. Wala naman mawawala siguro. Tapusin na lang natin. 5 COCs na lang, eh (They want to know what will happen until the end. There are still five certificates of canvass. Let’s just wait. Let’s just finish everything, after all, there are only five COCs left),” Ejercito said.