2022 Philippine senatorial race

Together again: Siblings JV Ejercito, Jinggoy Estrada make it to Senate ‘Magic 12’


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Together again: Siblings JV Ejercito, Jinggoy Estrada make it to Senate ‘Magic 12’
JV Ejercito is also the top Senate candidate in home city San Juan

MANILA, Philippines – Siblings JV Ejercito and Jinggoy Estrada are poised for a Senate comeback as both are in the so-called “Magic 12” based on partial, unofficial results from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) server.

Ejercito is at 10th place with 15,74,391 votes, and Estrada at 12th spot with 14,854,240 votes, with 97.39% of precincts reporting as of 12:41 pm on Tuesday, May 10. At 13th spot is former vice president Jojo Binay with 13,098,389 votes.

Estrada and Ejercito are the sons of former president Joseph Estrada with former first lady Loi Ejercito and former San Juan City mayor Guia Gomez, respectively.

The half-brothers had different fates in their home city, San Juan, where Ejercito emerged as the top senatorial candidate while Estrada was outside the winners’ circle. This is based on 100% election returns in the city, where both had served as San Juan mayor.

It would not be the first time for the siblings to work together in the Senate: They were both senators in the 16th Congress but at the time, Estrada was halfway through his six-year term while Ejercito was a neophyte senator. The two, however, spent less than a year together in the Senate following Estrada’s arrest over the pork barrel scam.

A month before Estrada’s arrest, Ejercito was among the senators who signed a Senate committee report against then-senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Bong Revilla, and Estrada over the alleged misuse of pork barrel – a move which further fueled animosity between the half-brothers, who are not on speaking terms.

Estrada and Ejercito have similar political trajectories – both first got involved in San Juan politics before moving to higher elective office.

Estrada was San Juan vice mayor from 1988 to 1992, and then a three-term mayor from 1992 to 2001. He was a senator from 2004 to 2016.

Ejercito served as San Juan mayor from 2001 to 2010, then as San Juan congressman from 2010 to 2013, before getting a Senate seat.

Both also ran and lost in the 2019 Senate race. Their decision to run then, as neither of them wanted to give way to the other, further magnified the tension between the two.

Like his father, Estrada was an actor before joining politics. He also faced plunder charges with the former president in 2001, but Jinggoy was acquitted in 2007.

Estrada still faces plunder and graft charges in connection with the pork barrel scam and was detained for three years until he was granted bail in September 2017. – Rappler.com

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