MANILA - Senator JV Ejercito's bid for re-election might be contested and he might be declared a nuisance candidate if he pushes through with his plan to use his father's "Estrada" surname in the ballot, the spokesperson for the Commission on Elections said Friday.
Ejercito, son of former President Joseph Estrada with San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez, plans to use "Estrada" as a nickname in the certificate of candidacy he would file.
He ranked 14 in a September survey by the Social Weather Stations and was in the 11-17 range in a Pulse Asia survey on senatorial preferences from the same month.
"If he does put Estrada, is someone gonna complain? That’s not for us to decide," Dir. James Jimenez, spokesperson of the Comelec, told ANC's Headstart.
Asked if Ejercito's brother, former Senator Jinggoy Estrada, could complain about it, Jimenez said: "That’s what Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano did when someone filed a COC saying his name was ‘Peter Cayetano.’ That’s one of the grounds for nuisance."
"This is a sitting senator, someone you know, but again, someone might have a colorable claim to say that that’s not his actual name, he’s not known as that. It’s something that can happen," he said.
Jimenez said the Comelec would make a decision "based on the appropriateness of the name being suggested, based on the number of spaces, whether or not it will cause confusion."
While the polling body has had several cases where people with the same last name vie for the same position, "what potentially makes this different is that one of the parties has not customarily used this name," he said.
"Someone else might have a claim that you shouldn’t be able to use that because of other circumstances. That’s a possibility, we’ll see what happens," he said.
Jinggoy was released on bail last year after being detained for more than 3 years on graft and plunder charges for his alleged role in the multi-billion-peso Priority Development Assistance Fund scam.
He has sounded the possibility of running under his father's Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino party, adding that the former president would not have a problem with him running alongside his brother.