MANILA - Former Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Thursday said he has no problem working with his younger half-brother, Senator JV Ejercito, should both of them seek a Senate seat and win in next year's midterm elections.
“Sa akin walang problema (It's not a problem for me.). I can work with anybody. I can work with him. I can work with anybody in the Senate as I have done before,” he told reporters.
The former lawmaker, however, said he was banking on Ejercito's previous statement that he was willing to give way to his bid to return to the legislature.
“Nung kalalabas ko lang ng kulungan, I remember he gave a press statement, sabi niya, if I decide to run for the Senate, he will make the supreme sacrifice of not running. Kung talagang totoo, sana nga totoo,” Estrada said.
(When I was just released from detention, I remember he gave a press statement that should I decide to run for the Senate, he will make the supreme sacrifice of not running. If that's true, then I hope it really is.)
“Ultimately it is the Filipino electorate who will decide. It’s not me. It’s not my family. It’s not our supporters. It’s the Filipino people who will decide,” he added.
Estrada was released on bail last year after being detained for more than three years on graft and plunder charges for his alleged role in the multibillion-peso Priority Development Assistance Fund scam.
Ejercito last month confirmed his transfer to the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) from the Partido ng Masang Pilipino, which was founded by his father, former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.
The move was to avoid a possible clash with his half-brother Estrada amid rumors of the latter's possible political comeback next year.
"...Parang naisip ko lang na parang hindi maganda kung sakaling magtuloy nga kaming magkapatid na tatakbo, tapos iisa ang aming partido,” Ejercito said.
(I just thought that it seems like a bad idea that my brother and I are in the same party if we both run next year.)
The rift between the brothers began when Ejercito signed a committee report tagging Estrada in the fund diversion scam.