MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday mistakenly called reelectionist Sen. JV Ejercito as his half-brother Jinggoy Estrada, who is also seeking a Senate seat.
Duterte made the mistake as he introduced Ejercito among the candidates he is endorsing in the upcoming midterm elections in May.
"Si Sen. Jinggoy. Ay Jinggoy. JV na lang. Jinggoy, nadadamay pa ako doon sa ano. JV Ejercito," Duterte told the crowd in Alonte Arena in Biñan, Laguna, where he is courting the votes of some 1.6 million registered voters.
"Biro lang yun ah. Mamaya kwentuhan kita kung bakit," Duterte said, addressing Ejercito.
Ejercito is among non-PDP-Laban members the President is campaigning for, which includes Senators Sonny Angara and Cynthia Villar, Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, and folk singer Freddie Aguilar, who belongs to the other faction of PDP-Laban.
The PDP-Laban candidates include reelectionist Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, former police chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, former special assistant to the president Christopher “Bong” Go, Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu, and former presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino.
Duterte has excluded Estrada and Revilla, both tagged in the diversion of discretionary funds during their time in the Senate, from his list.
The senatoriables also chided opposition candidates for insisting on facing off with them on a debate.
Dela Rosa told the opposition to "bring it on," blasting Otso Diretso for being "all talk and no action".
Pimentel, meanwhile, said they no longer have time to engage the opposition in a debate, adding that they'd rather go full swing in campaigning all over the country, and they have nothing more to prove citing the achievements they have made.
Marcos earlier said she prefers campaigning over debates as the latter is consuming.
--With reports from Doris Bigornia, ABS-CBN News