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JV Ejercito still thankful with Iglesia Ni Cristo even though he was not endorsed.

By Hannah Torregoza

Senator Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito on Thursday said he is still thankful even though the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) did not endorse his senatorial bid this time.

While the INC endorsement would have assured him of a slot in the so-called 'Magic 12', Ejercito said he can vouch for his numerous supporters and volunteers who launched an all-out campaign for him.

"The INC endorsement would have made that assurance but since wala po 'yun, I'm still thankful to the organization. They carried me (in the past elections) except for now. I'm still thankful to them for the past elections where they helped me," Ejercito said in a Kapihan sa Senado forum.

"For me, getting their endorsement would have helped a lot. Sayang yung bandwagon effect and that would have been an assurance, but I respect their decision," he said.

The influential religious group that has been known to pull more than a million votes to national candidates vying for their support has earlier released the list of its senatorial bets whom they will vote as a bloc on Monday, May 13, 2019.

On top of their list is Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) senatorial candidate Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos. The INC is also endorsing the candidacies of ex-senators Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr. senators Sonny Angara and Cynthia Villar, Deputy Speaker and Taguig City Rep. Pia Cayetano, former special assistant to the president Christopher "Bong" Go, former presidential adviser on political affairs Francis Tolentino, and former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa.

Ejercito said he respects the INC's decision to choose his half-brother over him.

"I respect their decision although I am sad. But that's their decision," Ejercito said noting that even his father, former president and Manila City Mayor Joseph Estrada had also lost the INC's endorsement.

The INC has chosen to endorse the mayoral bid of Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso and incumbent vice mayor Honey Lacuna over the former leader who is also running for another mayoral term in the upcoming elections.

Nevertheless, Ejercito said he is happy that his colleagues in the Senate, led by Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III, and even his father have lent a helping hand to boost his campaign.

"They would not endorse me if they do not know me, I am thankful for their concern for me and they know how much I've worked hard in the Senate," Ejercito said.

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Administration senatorial bet JV Ejercito (ALVIN KASIBAN / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:May 9, 2019
Words:419
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