Reelectionist Senator JV Ejercito on Monday said he felt bad that his father, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, for allowing his half-brother, former senator Jinggoy Estrada, to also run for senator in the midterm elections in May 2019.
“I feel bad because I’m a reelectionist. He should not have approved of Jinggoy’s Senate run,” Ejercito said in a radio interview over Radyo 5.
Since the two of them are running for the same position, Ejercito said it doesn’t look good.
He also admitted that this would weaken his chances of winning because votes would be divided between the two of them.
In an earlier interview, Ejercito said that he does not have the benefit of name recall for using “Ejercito” and not Estrada. He noted this could be the reason for his non-inclusion in the “winning circle” of the senatorial candidates based on the latest Pulse Asia survey.
“The Estrada factor is working against me this time,” said Ejercito, who carried the surname of his father, a former President, and famous actor, when he first ran for senator in 2013.
The senator’s rating dropped in the Sept. 1-7 survey to 26.7 percent from 35.6 percent in the June 15 to 21 survey.
The Pulse Asia survey held from Sept. 1-7 showed that Ejercito landed between 11th and 17th spot among the senatorial preferences. His half-brother, meanwhile, ranked between 6th and 10th.
He also remembered that during his first run, he didn’t get much help from his father.
“Nagkaroon kami tampuhan dahil sa kapatid ko ‘nung time na yun, kaya di ako natulungan financially, even political machinery,” he said.
“And then, this scenario would be repeated again. Hindi lang tampo, masama talaga loob ko. Di na ko natulungan noong 2013, ganito pa sitwasyon. Ako I have tried to keep my name clean, I have no issue.. I have no corruption,” Ejercito added.
According to Ejercito, he and his father have not spoken for a long time now after his half-brother announced he would run again for senator in the coming polls.
Admitting that he feels disgruntled, Ejercito said he has decided to bolt from the Partido ng Masang Pilipino, his father’s political party and is set to take his oath of office before the Nationalist People’s Coalition this week.
Ejercito earlier took his oath as member of regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago, led by presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III, NPC senior party official, said the NPC is also considering to support Estrada in 2019.
In a separate interview, Jinggoy Estrada refuted JV’s allegations that their father did not help the reelectionist senator when he first ran for senator.
“I doubt it. My father treats all his children the same. No one is his favorite,” said Estrada.
The former senator said he was a first-hand witness to that. “Our father helped him. It’s impossible that he did not help him.”
He also rejected Ejercito’s claim that it won’t look good if siblings seek the same post. He said it would be the Filipino voters who will ultimately decide.
With regards to the use of Estrada name, Ejercito said the use of Estrada during elections was legalized since the 1990s, when he first ran for San Juan vice mayor in 1988.
“I am my father’s son. Since I entered politics in 1988, na-legalize na po yung apelyido ko. May court order po 'yan,” said Ejercitoi, the ex-President’s son with former actress-turned San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez.
Estrada, who is out on bail for a plunder case, is Mayor Estrada’s son from former Senator Loi Ejercito.
The animosity between the brothers started due to some political differences in the San Juan city government where they both served as mayor.