SENATOR Joseph Victor Ejercito on Monday vowed to clear his name on the graft and malversation charges filed against him.
Ejercito pleaded not guilty when he and his five co-accused in the alleged misuse of public funds were arraigned on Monday at the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division.
The senator maintained that in his 15 years as a public servant, he was able to maintain a clean track record.
“I have never had a court case, and had been very careful to keep my track record as a public servant clean, and my reputation unblemished,” he said.
He was indicted for the alleged anomalous purchase of high-powered firearms worth P2.1 million in 2008 when he was the mayor of San Juan City.
Ejercito accused the Zamora family of being behind the revival of the graft case, which was filed eight years ago at the Office of the Ombudsman by an anonymous complainant.
Ejercito’s mother, San Juan City mayor Guia Gomez, is running for reelection against Vice Mayor Francis Zamora, son of former Executive Secretary and San Juan City Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, who used to be an ally of the Estrada family.
The senator said he and his legal counsel, Sigfrid Fortun, want the speedy resolution of the case.
“We are confident that the evidence and witnesses we have will show what truly transpired. I want to get this case over and done with as soon as possible. I am seeking justice to clear my name,” he said.
Ejercito’s co-accused — former City Administrator Ranulfo Dacalos, who was also then-Chairperson of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), and the former BAC members, namely former ICO-City Treasurer Rosalinda Marasigan, former City Legal Officer Romualdo de los Santos, former City Budget Officer Lorenza Ching, and former City Engineer Danilo Mercado – also pleaded not guilty.
The anti-graft court set the pre-trial conference on June 9.
“I don’t want this delayed any further, tapusin na natin because we are very very confident with the evidence that we have, ‘pag hindi ka guilty wala kang takot eh so gusto ko matapos na ito [I don’t want this delayed any further, let us finish this because we are very very confident with the evidence that we have, you have no fear if you are not guilty, so I want this to be finished already],” Ejercito said.