DAVAO CITY - Despite their ongoing feud, former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and his half-brother, Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito, both put up smiling faces and raised each other’s hand as the administration-backed Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) wrapped up its campaign.
As he took his turn to speak on the stage, Estrada acknowledged the presence of all HNP bets, including his half-brother JV.
“Siyempre the good one, Senator JV Ejercito (Of course the good one, Senator JV),” Estrada said, as he called his younger half-brother to come near him and then raised his hand.
“Sama-sama na tayo ah, para sa ikauunlad ng bansang Pilipinas. Inendorso ko na lahat ah. The ‘good one’ inedorso ko na ha. Baka naman makalimutan niyo yung ‘the better one,’” Estrada said in jest.
(Let’s all come together for the betterment of the Philippines. I endorsed everyone. I endorsed the “good one”. You might forget the “better one.”)
Ejercito describes himself as “the good one” in his television advertisements, in an apparent swipe at Estrada who is facing plunder and graft charges in connection to the pork barrel scam.
The message was not lost on Estrada, who once reacted, “so that makes me the bad one?”
Speaking to reporters after the miting de avance, Estrada said it was proper for him to raise Ejercito’s hand as the campaign season ends. He noted he did the same when the campaign season kicked off in February.
“I think it was appropriate, it was proper for me to endorse my younger brother. Kahit papaano, sabi nga ni [Davao City Mayor] Sara [Duterte-Carpio], at the end of the day magkapatid kami. Blood is thicker than water,” Estrada said.
(Despite everything, as Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said, at the end of the day we are brothers. Blood is thicker than water.)
“Sabi ko nga, kung ako lang masusunod, kaming dalawa ang manalo.”
(If it were only up to me, I’d want for the both of us to win.)
Estrada’s decision to seek a Senate comeback prompted Ejercito to leave Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, the political party of their father, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.
This decision strained Ejercito's relationship with their father among other things, said Estrada.
Ejercito is the Manila mayor's son with former actress and now San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez, while Estrada is an offspring of the former president and wife Loi Ejercito Estrada.