MANILA, Philippines - Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada Jr. said he is deeply hurt over some comments made by his half-brother and San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito.
“I believe that I have done my best to prove that I can rise above any petty and unjust remarks against me from my own brother. I sincerely hope that as a senatorial aspirant who I look forward to being a colleague in the Senate, he can do the same,” Estrada said in a statement.
Ejercito is running for senator under the United Nationalist Alliance, the coalition formed by their father and former President Joseph Estrada with the political party of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
The younger Estrada said he is upset that his brother allegedly made comments to “generate publicity” over their supposed sibling rivalry “at his expense.”
“I admit that we may not agree and even argue on some social and political issues -- much like the atmosphere in any deliberative body and the current Philippine Senate where free exchange of ideas is not only welcome but absolutely necessary. Again, this does not mean that we have to be at each other's throat at all times, though it seems that my brother thinks otherwise,” Estrada lamented.
He also added that he was never a party to any sibling rivalry. “I believe that the nature of our tepid relationship is perhaps understandable considering our family's circumstances,” he explained.
Estrada’s mother is former Senator Loi Ejercito, while Ejercito’s mother is former actress Guia Gomez.
“If he happens to be elected as a Senator and there comes a time when there is something to point out with respect to legislative work or socio-political concerns, I will carry out the task as a seasoned legislator and as a statesman considering that my brother is a younger colleague,” Estrada said.