MANILA - Senator JV Ejercito took oath as a member of the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) Wednesday, leaving his father's political party Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino.
Ejercito, son of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph "Erap" Estrada, formally took his oath before the party's leader, Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III, on Wednesday.
Known to be seeking reelection in next year's polls, Ejercito changed parties a day before the filing of certificates of candidacy is set to begin.
Ejercito admitted that it also hurt him to leave his father's party. He said he already asked his mother, San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez, to relay his decision to his father.
In a previous interview with ANC, Ejercito said there were "differences in principles" between him and the other members of his father's party.
"I still think of my principles that we are running not as representatives of our family. We are running as representatives of our people," he said.
The Estrada family continues to have good ties with the NPC as Joseph Estrada ran for vice president alongside party president Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco in the 1992 elections.
Ejercito only ranked 17th in the recent Pulse Asia survey on preferred senatorial candidates, while his half-brother former Senator Jinggoy Estrada ranked 7th.
Estrada is also known to be seeking a Senate comeback.
The half brothers have been divided by a rift over Ejercito's decision to sign a Senate committee report finding Estrada liable in the multibillion-peso Priority Development Assistance Fund scam in May 2014.
The latter was detained for three years before being allowed to post bail in September last year as he faced trial at the Sandiganbayan.
Ejercito earlier expressed reservations about running for the Senate at the same time as his half-brother.
He earlier said not using his father's screen name "Estrada" had hurt his poll ratings, adding that he would just have to work harder.
--with a report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News