JV Estrada Ejercito, 52, has served in Congress for nearly a decade. His career as a legislator began in 2010 when he was elected district representative of the City of San Juan. He went on to serve one term in the Senate from 2013 to 2019.
Prior to his election to the Senate, he followed his father, former President Joseph Estrada, and half-brother, Jinggoy Estrada, to the San Juan City mayoralty, serving three consecutive terms from 2001 to 2010. The Ejercito-Estrada clan remained in power in San Juan City for 50 years, unseated only in 2019 when vice mayor Janella Estrada, daughter of Jinggoy Estrada, lost her mayoral bid to Francis Zamora.
As a lawmaker in the Senate, Ejercito principally authored over 17 laws including several healthcare laws. He was also an author and the principal sponsor of the landmark Universal Health Care Act which he vows to fully implement if elected in 2022.
Although Ejercito voted in favor of banning political dynasties in 2018, both he and his half-brother Jinggoy Estrada are running for senator in the upcoming 2022 elections. Ahead of both the 2019 and 2022 polls, Ejercito maintained that only one sibling should seek a Senate seat but they are both running anyway after failing to clinch seats in the midterms.
The two have been locked in a feud since Ejercito signed a 2014 Senate committee report on the pork barrel scam against Estrada, former Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., and Juan Ponce Enrile, indicating his support for filing plunder charges against his half-brother.
Ejercito supports the administration's bloody anti-illegal drug campaign and, in 2019, pushed for the restoration of the death penalty for high-level drug trafficking and plunder — the latter a crime for which his father has been convicted and his half-brother is a defendant.
He is also in favor of passing the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression Equality Bill, publicizing the president's medical reports and legalizing divorce, a reversal of a stance he held just a year prior in 2018. He voted against the Reproductive Health Law when it was still being debated in both the lower and upper chambers of Congress.
Ejercito is included in the senatorial slate of Senator Panfilo Lacson’s tandem with Senate President Vicente Sotto III as well as the Senate lineup of Senator Manny Pacquiao. His candidacy was also endorsed by President Rodrigo Duterte in February 2022.
He has lamented being left out of the senatorial slate of fellow presidential children, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. who is the son and namesake of the late dictator, and his running-mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte who is the incumbent president’s daughter.
The candidate's top priorities if elected to office, tracked against previous promises and accomplishments, if any
Prioritize the full implementation of the Universal Health Care Act in order to:
1. Address bed capacity issues of hospitals and establish specialty hospitals across the country
2. Address lack of healthcare workers by providing just compensation, personal protective equipment and allowances
1. Among authors and the principal sponsor of the Universal Health Care Act
2. Principal author and sponsor of at least six laws dedicated to increasing bed capacities of hospitals
Empower youth through education
1. Co-authored Free Higher Education for All Act
2. Co-authored Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act
3. Principal author and co-sponsor in the Senate of the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2016
1. Intends to create a comprehensive master plan for infrastructure development meant to act as a blueprint for any incoming administrations and a long-term plan to encourage growth in rural areas
2. Supports more investment in biking infrastructure in response to rising price of fuel and integration of features for non-motorized modes of transportation in infrastructure programs, for health-related, economic and environmental benefits
1. Co-authored and sponsored the Road Speed Limiter Act of 2015
2. Chairman of the blue ribbon subcommittee in charge of the investigation on the P3.8 billion Land Transportation Office deal on its License Plates Standardization Program
The candidate's top five accomplishments and contributions for the last 15 years or so
As the Kabataan ng Masang Pilipino candidate for the youth sector during the first party-list elections in 1998, Estrada won enough votes to qualify for a seat as a duly elected party-list representative but withdrew from the post due to the controversy over presidential influence to win a favorable resolution from the Commission on Elections.
His political career formally started in San Juan, the bailiwick of the Estrada clan, where he served as mayor from 2001 to 2010.
Ejercito was mentioned in the testimony of Governor Luis “Chavit” Singson in the plunder case against former President Estrada and former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, but was not among those charged.
In 2016, he and four other government officials were charged with technical malversation and graft for allegedly diverting the 2008 San Juan City calamity funds worth P2.1 million to purchase high-powered firearms. He was acquitted a year later.
After serving one term as San Juan representative in the lower house, he was elected to the Senate where he served from 2013 to 2019.
Ejercito has principally authored over 17 laws, many of which concern healthcare. He was among the principal authors and the principal sponsor of the Universal Health Care Act in 2019. He was also the principal author and principal sponsor of the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, the National Integrated Cancer Control Act and several laws increasing the bed capacities of hospitals across the country.
As a senator, Ejercito voted in favor of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act and the Bangsamoro Organic Law but later withdrew his support for both.
He previously urged government economic managers to suspend the TRAIN Act due to its impact on inflation. Ejercito also retracted his authorship for the Bangsamoro Law due to a clash between the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, or the Mamasapano clash, but eventually voted for its passage in May 2018.
He also supported the Duterte administration’s anti-illegal drugs campaign, including the controversial Oplan Tokhang, and in 2018, reminded the police to heed the new guidelines imposed on its implementation, acknowledging reports of abuses perpetrated in line with the campaign.
In a 2013 Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism report, Ejercito was connected to an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands, a privacy and tax haven for those storing ill-gotten wealth acquired through corruption and other means. According to the report, Ejercito was the sole director of Ice Bell Properties Limited, the offshore company founded in July 1999 when his father was still in power. Around that time, Ejercito was overseeing almost 30 companies. Still, according to PCIJ, Ice Bell Properties remained active until at least Apr. 2, 2013, or throughout Ejercito’s terms as San Juan mayor and representative.
The company was not declared in Ejercito's Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth. To address the issue, Ejercito only reiterated that he has truthfully and accurately declared all his assets and liabilities since 2001 and called the release of the report suspicious since he was among the leading contenders among the UNA senatorial candidates.
Ejercito would then face graft and technical malversation charges in 2014 in connection to the alleged illegal purchase of submachine guns from the 2008 San Juan calamity funds while he was San Juan mayor. The Sandiganbayan issued a 90-day preventive suspension order in August 2016, which he began to serve in November 2016. The graft charges were dismissed on Dec. 22, 2016 and the technical malversation charge on Aug, 11, 2017 by two separate divisions of the Sandiganbayan.
Ejercito is also a Commissioned Reserve Officer of the Philippine Marine Corps, with the rank of major.
Executive Branch Accomplishments
Was San Juan mayor in June 2007 when it was converted into a highly urbanized city under R.A. No. 9388, or the Charter of the City of San Juan
Legislative Branch Accomplishments
Among the principal authors and the principal sponsor in the Senate, 2018
Approved by the president on Feb. 20, 2019
Principal author and principal sponsor in the Senate, 2019
Approved by the president on Apr. 26, 2019
Principal author and co-sponsor in the Senate, 2015
Approved by the president on May 23, 2016
Principal author and principal sponsor in the Senate, 2018
Approved by the president on Feb. 14, 2019
(Sole) principal author and principal sponsor in the Senate, 2015
Approved by the president on June 30, 2016
National founder of Mamamayan Ayaw sa Droga
Actions and/or proceedings pending against or resolved in courts or tribunals involving the candidate, based on publicly available information
Resolved Actions and/or Proceedings
|Subject Matter||Relevant Dates||Accrued Liability||Status|
|Graft and technical malversation cases
Graft charges were filed against Ejercito and five former San Juan City officials for allegedly diverting 2008 San Juan City calamity funds worth P2.1 million to purchase three Daewoo K2 submachine guns and 17 Daewoo K1 submachine guns h for city police, and calling the purchase an “investment for disaster preparedness”
The Ombudsman alleged that the applicable 2013 circular issued by the budget department and the local government department does not list firearms among items necessary for disaster relief and mitigation and that the hasty purchase was done without competitive bidding and other postqualification requirements
Ejercito and 14 other former San Juan officials were also charged with technical malversation for illegal use of public funds
Ejercito denied the accusations and described the charges as politically motivated by his local rivals
|Charges were filed by the Ombudsman on Mar. 30, 2016
The Sandiganbayan ordered Ejercito’s arrest in April 2016, for which he posted bail set at P30,000 per count of graft
The Sandiganbayan also ordered the 90-day suspension from the Senate in a resolution dated Aug. 23, 2016
Ejercito began serving such suspension on Nov. 8, 2016, after the Supreme Court denied his motion questioning the Sandiganbayan’s suspension order
||On Dec. 22, 2016, the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division granted Ejercito’s demurrer to evidence based on the prosecution’s failure to prove that he gave unwarranted benefits to the supplier of the firearms and that he pressured the bids and awards committee to pre-select the Daewoo brand of firearms, thereby dismissing the graft charges against him
The Sandigannbayan also lifted its order of preventive suspension against Ejercito
On Feb. 20, 2017, the Sandiganbayan denied the government's appeal of the Dec. 22, 2016 resolution
On Aug. 11, 2017, the Sandiganbayan’s Sixth Division dismissed the technical malversation charges against Ejercito due to the prosecution’s failure to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the funds used in the alleged illegal purchase was sourced from the 2008 San Juan City calamity funds; the motion for reconsideration filed by the prosecution was denied in October 2017 due to double jeopardy and lack of merit
Also known as SALN, this document is a declaration of one's personal finances. Philippine Law requires the SALN to be submitted by all public officials and employees to the Ombudsman. Public officials and employees may opt to voluntarily disclose their SALN to the public.
* As of December 31, 2018
Key details about the candidate's campaign
- Included as a guest candidate in the senate slate of the tandem of Senators Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Vicente Sotto III
- Included as a guest candidate to the senatorial lineup of the tandem of Senator Manny Pacquiao and Representative Lito Atienza
Candidate's major donors and campaign funding sources
|JV Para sa Bayan Inc.
||JV Para sa Bayan Inc. is an independent group of volunteers dedicated to support JV Ejercito’s candidacy
|Former San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez (Mother)
The candidate's top advocacies in the last 15 years or so
As a senator, prioritized health in the national budget, since at least 2018
Called the budget cut in the 2019 national budget for the Department of Health’s Health Facilities Enhancement Program “a great disservice to people”
As a senatorial candidate in 2022, his current platform involves prioritizing the full implementation of the Universal Health Care Act
In 2016, he urged the Senate to grant President Duterte emergency powers for two years for the reformation of the Philippine transportation system
As a senatorial candidate in 2022, his current platform involves pushing for a Philippine comprehensive infrastructure master plan, which he claims will provide a blueprint for future infrastructure projects
Believes that the transportation crisis in the Philippines should be addressed with the same rigor as drug problem, since 2016