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JV suspended for 90 days

Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito yesterday said he has no regrets taking a different approach in protecting his constituents, saying he would do the same thing should a similar opportunity arise.

Ejercito made the statement after learning the Sandiganbayan has ordered him suspended for 90 days over his involvement in the alleged illegal procurement of firearms for policemen during his term as mayor of San Juan City in 2008.

The anti-graft court’s ruling is in connection to the graft case filed against him and other individuals charged for diverting the city’s calamity fund to purchase high-powered weapons for the local police to address criminality that has “gotten out of hand.”

“If faced with the same situation, I will not hesitate to do it again,” Ejercito said.

“I am truly saddened by the order issued by the Sandiganbayan. The order precludes me from discharging my duties as a duly elected Senator while it is hearing the case involving the purchase of firearms for the police force while I was still Mayor of San Juan City,” the senator said.

He reiterated that as then San Juan City mayor, he believes it was his duty to approve the purchase of firearms for the local police given the worsening crime situation in the city.

“Our police force needed more than moral support as it urgently needed firepower against criminals who virtually held the city under siege. Thus, I approved the purchase of additional firearms for our police force to protect the lives and property of my constituents,” he said. (Hannah L. Torregoza)