MANILA, Philippines – Former senator Jinggoy Estrada filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator on Tuesday, October 16, accompanied by his father, former president and Manila mayor Joseph Estrada.
Asked if his father's presence meant support for Jinggoy over his half-brother, Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, the former senator said: "Wala namang gano'n 'cause I requested my parents to accompany me. 'Di ko alam, hindi siguro tinawagan ni Senator JV ang aming ama." (It isn't like that because I requested my parents to accompany me. I don't know, maybe Senator JV did not call our father.)
Jinggoy was also joined by his mother, former senator Loi Ejercito, and his wife, Precy.
Jinggoy is running under his father's political party, Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP). In an apparent reference to his half-brother, Jinggoy said, "I will never abandon my father's party."
Ejercito left PMP for the Nationalist People's Coalition, following disagreements with his father over Jinggoy's Senate bid.
The two half-brothers are both seeking Senate seats in 2019.
But Jinggoy said he is not worried that the votes would be divided between two Estradas. Jinggoy also wished his brother good luck, as he said he wants the two of them to win in 2019.
"Yes, definitely. Actually, kahit na panay pagbabatikos niya sa akin, pagpapasaring niya sa akin, kapatid ko pa rin 'yan. Kadugo ko pa rin 'yan, isa lang tatay namin. Kung ako masusunod, gusto ko dalawa kami manalo sa Senado," Jinggoy told reporters after filing his COC.
(Yes, definitely. Actually, even if he's always criticizing me, indirectly taking a swipe at me, he's still my brother. We're still related by blood, we have one father. If I had my way, I would want the two of us to win Senate seats.)
Jinggoy was detained for over 3 years due to plunder and graft charges in connection with the pork barrel scam. He was released on bail in September 2017. Despite this, he believes the charges against him would not affect his chances of winning in 2019.
In June, Ejercito ranked 6th to 13th in pre-election surveys, making him well within the so-called Magic 12. Jinggoy, meanwhile, ranked 5th to 12th in June.
In September, Ejercito's ranking dropped to 11th to 17th, just on the edge of the winning circle. Estrada went up to 6th to 10th, making it into the Magic 12.
Ejercito filed his COC on Monday, October 15, with his wife, Cindy, and his mother, San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez. In a bid to boost name recall, Ejercito used "Ejercito Estrada JV" as his official name on the ballot and "Estrada JV" as his alias. – Rappler.com
Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email firstname.lastname@example.org