I was in Bukidnon when San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito (or Joseph Victor Ejercito Estrada) told me that he was coming for a visit.
I readily told Rep. JV Ejercito that I would be glad to assist him especially since I still had tons of media and government contacts in Bukidnon. I was also very curious to see how the people of Bukidnon would react when they see him. After all, JV Ejercito just recently “patched things up” with former Bukidnon congressman (and resigned Senator) Juan Miguel Zubiri (who is obviously very well-loved in Bukidnon) after the latter apologized to JV’s dad, former President Erap Estrada. Migs Zubiri used to be a part of the “Spice Boys,” a group of young congressmen who pushed for the articles of impeachment against Estrada in 2000. These days, Migs and JV are now both part of the newly organized United Nationalist Alliance or UNA coalition. Yep, politics sure is fascinating.
I eventually learned that over and above political differences, JV was close to the Zubiri family. In fact, he considers Bukidnon Vice Governor Jose Zubiri, Jr. a “very close friend” and he calls him “Manong Joe.”
I also recall that Erap Estrada stunned a lot of people when he emerged as the winner in Bukidnon during the 2010 presidential elections. I remember it was a pretty controversial issue. At the time, Zubiri endorsed Sen. Manny Villar and even promised the Nacionalista Party standard bearer that he will deliver the votes. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
Bukidnon chose Erap.
So anyways, before I digress…back to JV Ejercito’s Bukidnon trip. I must admit, I was a bit surprised when I saw that a lot of people got so excited about Sir JV’s arrival. Was it because this was JV Ejercito’s first visit to Bukidnon in 15 long years? Was it curiosity? Was it the Estrada charm at work?
These are just a few of the people who patiently waited for him outside the Sangguniang Panlalawigan
“Manong Joe” Zubiri warmly welcomed JV Ejercito at the SP.
The session at the SP that day was suspended to make way for JV Ejercito
JV Ejercito announced that he will run for the Senate in the 2013 midterm elections. Zubiri pledged his support by saying that he will ask the people of Bukidnon to vote for him. “Next to Migs,” he joked.
JV Ejercito meets the members of the Bukidnon press
That’s Malaybalay City Mayor Ignacio “Inaki” Zubiri beside Sir JV. The mayor of Malaybalay is a nephew of Vice Governor Zubiri and cousin of resigned Senator Miguel Zubiri
With some of the provincial board members
Sir JV ended his Bukidnon visit by spending time with his fellow Jaycees.
I ended mine with a fresher perspective.