Jinggoy Estrada and JV Ejercito Composite Image.
MANILA - Sen. Jinggoy Estrada on Monday said he has yet to speak to his half-brother, fellow Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito, after the latter signed the Senate Blue Ribbon committee report on the pork barrel scam.
Speaking to radio DZMM, Estrada said he has yet to hear Ejercito's explanation about the latter's decision to sign the report that backed the filing of plunder charges against him and two other senators.
"Hindi pa kami nagkakausap. Hindi pa ho kami nagkakausap. Siguro kukunin ko na lang yung letter of explanation niya. Lahat naman ng senador na pumirma sa Blue Ribbon Committee report, may sari sariling explanation," he said.
He added that at least one senator, Loren Legarda, explained to him that she signed the report because it is up to the courts to determine if he and the other senators are guilty of plunder.
Ejercito earlier told DZMM that Estrada and their father, former President Joseph Estrada, got mad at him for signing the Blue Ribbon Committee report on the pork barrel scam.
"Last week, hindi na naman kami nagkaunawaan at nagalit na naman ang aking kapatid… Sabi nya, nagpapapogi lang ako at his expense (Jinggoy got mad again. He said I’m trying to make myself look good at his expense)," he told radio dzMM.
Ejercito was among the first ten senators who signed the committee report that recommended the filing of charges against his half-brother and senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Bong Revilla.
Ejercito said Jinggoy did not understand his purpose for signing the report. He said he did it with "reservations" and attached a letter to the report.
"I did not endorse the entire report, perhaps just partially. As a lawmaker, I also want to put an end to the pork scam," he said.
He also admitted he did not tell his father and half-brother about his plan to sign the report.
"I'll have to be honest. [Jinggoy and I] are not close. He's always furious with me," he said.
WHICH LIST IS GENUINE?
Meanwhile, Senator Estrada said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima should not have waited for the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee report to subpoena the list of lawmakers allegedly linked to the scam.
Instead, he said de Lima should have volunteered the information immediately after receiving the list from alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
Estrada mocked de Lima for confirming that he, Enrile and Revilla were included in the Napoles list while clamming up about the other lawmakers being linked to the scam.
"Nung tinanong si Secretary de Lima if the three senators are included, she said absolutely. Nung tinanong siya if there are other senators and congressmen, she said I will still have to evaluate first. Bakit naman ganun?" he asked.
The senator said there is confusion about the lists because de Lima, rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson and whistle-blower Sandra Cam all have lists.
President Aquino has confirmed at least two of the lists do not match.
"Di natin alin diyan ang paniniwalaan natin. Kung ako tatanungin niyo, I will believe if there are administration allies there. Kung walang admin allies, di na kapani-paniwala yan," Estrada said.
The senator said he has received reports that he is under surveillance constantly after being linked to the scam.
He also confirmed he is undergoing a lifestyle check by the Ombudsman after the National Bureau of Investigation filed a plunder case against him in connection with the scam.
He said the Ombudsman also sent a letter asking for his income tax returns from 2007 to 2012.
Estrada said he has no problem with the lifestyle check as long as all government officials also undergo the same.
"Okay lang sa akin pa lifestyle check ako. Wala naman problema sa akin yan e pero sana wag lang ako. Kasama lahat nung aking mga ksamahan sa Senado, pati congressman at public officials. Tsaka wag na nilang isama yung pamikya ko, wala naman silang alam dito sa pulitika," he said. With a report by Ira Pedrasa, ABS-CBNnews.com